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Infection Control & Patient Safety

Salmonellae-Peanut Butter Report Issued

Published February 19, 2013 8:47 AM by Barbara Smith
The Food and Drug Administration along with the CDC recently finalized their report on an outbreak of Salmonella linked to peanut butter - of all things!

The outbreak began in September 2011 and eventually involved 42 people in 20 states both on the East and West coasts.

Salmonellae typically causes fever, diarrhea and abdominal pain. While most people recover completely without any treatment, the very old and the very young are at increased risk for sever illness, dehydration and hospitalization. Not surprisingly, 63% of those afflicted in this case where younger than 10 years old.

This outbreak was traced to a laxity in preventive practices and hygiene standards at the processing plant. The investigators noted poor equipment cleaning, handling raw products with bare hands and lack of handwashing sinks. These practices led to contamination of the peanut butter. The investigation was confirmed by genetic testing that linked the organism in the peanut butter to equipment and material at the plant.

Thankfully, the outbreak was halted. Imagine the difficulty of not being able to send your child to school with a PB&J sandwich.

posted by Barbara Smith


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About this Blog

    Occupation: Infection Control Professionals
    Setting: Welch Allyn; St. Luke’s Hospital (Smith)
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