Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is monitoring the situation involving peanut butter that is contaminated with the bacteria Salmonella, which causes a diarrheal illness called Salmonellosis. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has identified 485 cases of salmonella associated with contaminated peanut butter as part of this outbreak, eleven of them from New Hampshire. Forty-three states have known cases.
The Salmonella strain is Typhimurium. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has identified the source of the outbreak as contaminated peanut butter paste manufactured in a plant owned by Peanut Corporation of America (PCA). The peanut paste was distributed to other manufacturers to be used in many food products. The FDA and food manufacturers are working to identify products that may be affected and to track the supply chain of those products to identify them and facilitate their removal. The FDA has created a searchable list of products and brands associated with the expanded PCA recall. This list is available on the FDA website at: www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/peanutbutterrecall/index.cfm and will be updated on a regular basis as additional recalls occur and information is received by the FDA from the industry. Peanut butter in jars is not a product of PCA and is not considered contaminated at this time.
In New Hampshire, the Department of Health and Human Services is monitoring potential cases in the State, working with distributors and grocers to see that recalled products are removed from shelves, and testing human and food samples for possible contamination with Salmonella. “We are closely monitoring this ongoing situation and working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help control the spread of illness,” said DHHS Director of Public Health Dr. José Montero. “Our Food Protection Section, Disease Control and Surveillance Section, and the Public Health Lab employees are experienced and working hard to monitor and control this outbreak.” “The health of the citizens of New Hampshire is our primary concern in a situation such as this,” said Nicholas Toumpas, Commissioner of DHHS. “We urge residents to avoid eating any products that have been recalled or identified as potentially contaminated. Businesses have done a very good job of removing these products from sale, but we want to make sure the general public gets the same message.”
For questions about peanut butter safety or Salmonella, please call the NH DHHS Communicable Disease Control Section at 1-603-271-4496 or 1-800-852-3345 x4496.