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Archive for Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Officials link salmonella to deaths

January 14, 2009

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— Three deaths associated with a national salmonella outbreak occurred in Virginia and Minnesota, health officials confirmed Tuesday.

Two adults in Virginia had salmonella when they died, though it’s not clear that the illness is what killed them, said Michelle Peregoy, a spokeswoman for the Virginia Department of Health. She did not release details about the two people.

Earlier, Minnesota health officials said an elderly woman in that state had the illness at the time of her death.

Health officials are urging nursing homes, hospitals, schools, universities and restaurants to toss out specific containers of peanut butter linked to a salmonella outbreak in 43 states and possibly to the deaths of three people.

The recalled peanut butter — distributed by King Nut Companies of Solon, Ohio — was supplied only through food service providers and was not sold directly to consumers. King Nut challenged the finding, saying it could not be the source of the nationwide outbreak since it distributes to only seven states.

The outbreak has sickened more than 400 people and Minnesota health officials announced Monday they had found a match between samples from a King Nut container and the strains of salmonella bacteria making people sick across the country.

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