A peanut butter maker that sells bulk supplies to institutions has issued a nationwide recall after officials reported two more deaths associated with a salmonella outbreak on January 14.
On January 13, Peanut Corp. of America, which is based out of Lynchburg, Virginia, issued the recall for 21 lots of peanut butter produced since July 1 at its plant in Blakely, Georgia because of a risk of personal injury due to possible contamination with salmonella bacteria.
More than 430 people across 43 states have fallen ill due to the national salmonella outbreak. On January 14, health officials in Minnesota and Idaho reported that one death in each state had been linked to the outbreak. Those reports came one day after another death in Minnesota and two in Virginia had been reported in connection to the outbreak.
All five of the deceased were adults who had the illness at the time of their death, though salmonella has not been confirmed as the official cause. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the salmonella outbreak may have contributed.
According to Peanut Corp. of America, none of the peanut butter affected by the recall was available for purchase through retail stores. The peanut butter made by the company is only for bulk distribution to institutions, food service industries, and private label food companies. The company says the peanut butter being recalled is under its Parnell’s Pride and King Nut brand names.
Health officials recommend that nursing homes, schools, hospitals, universities, and restaurants dispose of any containers of peanut butter linked to the outbreak. The peanut butter was in containers between 5 and 50 pounds.
The recall was issued after health care officials in Minnesota found a strain of salmonella within an open container of King Nut peanut butter in a long-term care facility.
According to the CDC, the majority of the illnesses occurred between September 3 and December 31, but mainly after October 1.