Michael F. Easley
Governor

The Great Seal of the State of North Carolina Carmen Hooker Odom
Secretary

North Carolina
Department of Health and Human Services

For Release: IMMEDIATE
Date: February 16, 2007

  Contact: Debbie. Crane

Public Health Officials Urge North Carolinians to Check Peanut Butter;

15 Salmonella Cases in North Carolina Linked to Peanut Butter

RALEIGH – Officials with the North Carolina Division of Public Health are urging people to check their pantries to see if they have peanut butter that could be contaminated with salmonella. So far, 15 cases of salmonella that appear to be linked to contaminated peanut butter have been investigated by the North Carolina Division of Public Health.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the affected brands of peanut butter are Peter Pan and Great Value manufactured in Georgia by ConAgra with the product code beginning with "2111". The FDA issued an advisory concerning the contaminated peanut butter earlier this week and the manufacturer has recalled the peanut butter

“Check your peanut butter. If it is Peter Pan or Great Value, then look for the number on the lid. If that number begins with “2111,” then you should take action.” said Dr. Megan Davies, an epidemiologist with the N.C. Division of Public Health. “

Davies said that the actions people should take are different, depending on their situation:

IF THE JAR IS UNOPENED – Throw the peanut butter out to make sure it isn’t consumed.

IF YOU ARE SICK AND HAVE EATEN THE CONTAMINATED PEANUT BUTTER WITHIN THE PAST 10 DAYS – Seek medical care. Tell your doctor that you have eaten potentially contaminated peanut butter. Label the jar with your name and the date and save it in a place where it can’t be eaten. If your doctor determines that you have salmonella, public health authorities may want to test the peanut butter.

IF YOU ATE THE POTENTIALLY CONTAMINATED PEANUT BUTTER, BUT ARE NO LONGER SICK – There is no way to link a past illness to the peanut butter, because a lab test would have been required while you are sick. Throw the peanut butter out.

IF YOU ARE SICK, ATE PEANUT BUTTER, BUT IT ISN’T THE PEANUT BUTTER LINKED TO SALMONELLA CONTAMINATION – There is no link between salmonella and other peanut butter than the two brands with the specific product code. Seek medical attention.

Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most people recover without treatment. However, in some people the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. The elderly, infants, and those with impaired immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness.
So, far 15 cases of salmonella in North Carolina have been linked to the contaminated peanut butter. North Carolina is one of 39 states where people were sickened as part of the outbreak.

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Public Affairs Office
101 Blair Drive, Raleigh, NC 27603
(919)733-9190
FAX (919)733-7447

Debbie Crane
Director