It’s cold in North Carolina; and there is more Salmonella here

It’s been cold here in North Carolina lately.  The past few mornings it has been clear and sunny, but with temperatures in the mid-teens.  Perfect weather for hockey.

 On Thursday night Dani, Jack and I went to the Leafs/Hurricanes game. We took advantage of the cheap tickets ($25 each, and Jack gets in free until he’s two). My beloved Leafs took a 4-0 lead before almost totally collapsing and pulled out a 6-4 win.  Both teams looked like they might have had some foodborne illness, and left the remnants on the ice. It was a really sloppy game. Maybe they had been eating peanut butter.  

Public health officials announced yesterday that an additional three North Carolinians  have been added to the national Salmonella Typhimurium. It was reported that one of the new cases was a resident who died in November due to a blood infection caused by Salmonella.

Today, the FDA updated it’s information related to the outbreak. The FDA website says:

The FDA has notified PCA that product samples originating from its Blakely, Ga., processing plant have been tested and found positive for Salmonella by laboratories in the states of Minnesota, Georgia and Connecticut.  The state of Minnesota reported to FDA that its samples of King Nut peanut butter are a genetic match to the strain of Salmonella that has caused illnesses in the state and around the country.  King Nut is a distributor of PCA product.

Because identification of products subject to recall is continuing, the FDA urges consumers to postpone eating peanut butter-containing products until further information becomes available about which products may be affected. Efforts to specifically identify those products are ongoing.

At this time, there is no indication that any national name brand jars of peanut butter sold in retail stores are linked to the PCA recall.  As the investigation continues over the weekend, and into next week, the FDA will be able to update the advice based on new sampling and distribution information.

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About Ben Chapman

Dr. Ben Chapman is a professor and food safety extension specialist at North Carolina State University. As a teenager, a Saturday afternoon viewing of the classic cable movie, Outbreak, sparked his interest in pathogens and public health. With the goal of less foodborne illness, his group designs, implements, and evaluates food safety strategies, messages, and media from farm-to-fork. Through reality-based research, Chapman investigates behaviors and creates interventions aimed at amateur and professional food handlers, managers, and organizational decision-makers; the gate keepers of safe food. Ben co-hosts a biweekly podcast called Food Safety Talk and tries to further engage folks online through Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and, maybe not surprisingly, Pinterest. Follow on Twitter @benjaminchapman.