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FOR RELEASE: March 12 , 2007
CONTACT: Pamela Williams
Office of Communications
405/271-5601

More Illness Linked to Recalled Peanut Butter

The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) confirmed today that another Oklahoman has become ill with Salmonella linked to consuming peanut butter recalled nationwide last month.

This new case brings the total to 12 persons in Oklahoma whose Salmonella illness has been linked to consuming Peter Pan and Great Value peanut butter contaminated with Salmonella Tennessee, a bacterium that causes foodborne illness.

Jars of Peter Pan and Great Value peanut butter manufactured since May 2006 with the product code beginning with 2111 were recalled by ConAgra last month after federal health officials linked cases of Salmonella infection with the consumption of these particular brands of peanut butter manufactured by ConAgra at its Sylvester, Ga. plant. At least 425 cases in 44 states have been identified in this foodborne illness outbreak.

Product testing conducted by the OSDH Public Health Laboratory has confirmed the presence of Salmonella in two jars of opened peanut butter obtained from ill persons. The OSDH is not collecting additional jars of peanut butter for testing.

"Nearly every family has a jar of peanut butter in their pantry, so we want Oklahomans to take this product recall very seriously," said State Health Commissioner Dr. Mike Crutcher. "If you still have jars of Peter Pan or Great Value peanut butter with the product code beginning with 2111, throw them away."

Some stores will accept the product for a refund, or consumers can send the lid to ConAgra for a refund. Consumers who have questions about the recall should contact ConAgra at 866-344-6970.

Persons who think they may have become ill from eating peanut butter and are still experiencing symptoms should contact their doctor or health care provider. Most persons infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection. The illness usually lasts four to seven days, and most persons recover without treatment. However, in some persons the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. Women may develop a secondary urinary tract infection. The elderly, infants, and those with impaired immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness.

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