The Journal Register (Medina, NY)

Local News

February 15, 2007

HEALTH: Salmonella outbreak leads to peanut butter recall

No cases reported in Niagara County

Possibly tainted peanut butter that has caused illness in almost 300 people nationwide has been sold in Western New York.

So far there have been no confirmed cases of salmonella that can be linked to the peanut butter in Niagara County, according to Interim Public Health Director Daniel Stapleton.

Erie County, meanwhile, has had six confirmed cases of salmonella since August, five of which have tested positive to the strain linked to the peanut butter outbreak, according to Kevin Montgomery, public information officer for the Erie County Department of Health.

“Up until yesterday we weren’t even aware of the peanut butter connection,” Montgomery said Thursday.

All of the patients in Erie County who tested positive for salmonella were hospitalized and released.

Nationwide, cases linked to the peanut butter began in August and has affected residents of 39 states.

The affected jars of peanut butter, sold under the Peter Pan and Great Value brands and manufactured by ConAgra Foods, bear serial numbers on the lids beginning with “2111”.

These jars have been sold in stores in Western New York.

The manufacturer has voluntarily recalled the product and is asking consumers to discard the jars.

“Although none of our extensive product tests have indicated the presence of salmonella, we are taking this precautionary measure because consumer health and safety is our top priority,” said Chris Kircher, spokesperson for ConAgra Foods.

Wegmans has pulled all Peter Pan peanut butter off the shelves in its Western New York stores, regardless of their lot numbers, said spokeswoman Ann McCarthy.

Tops pulled jars that were stamped with serial numbers beginning in 2111.

Both companies are accepting returns on the products at their stores.

McCarthy suggested that customers return the entire product to the store, not just the lid, to make the return easier to process.

Great Value, sold in Wal-Mart stores, was also affected, but only if it was manufactured by ConAgra.

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