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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Update on Multistate Outbreak of Salmonella Serotype Tennessee Infections Associated with ConAgra Peanut Butter — United States, 2006–2007

On June 1, 2007, the CDC reported that a total of 628 persons had been infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella serotype Tennessee in 47 states since August 1, 2006. Rumor has it that that number has risen and is now in excess of 700 (perhaps 714).  Remember, according to AC Voetsch, “FoodNet estimate of the burden of illness caused by nontyphoidal Salmonella infections in the United States,”Clinical Infectious Diseases 2004;38 (Suppl 3):S127-34, 714 ill people is an undercount by 38.6 times – That is an actual total of 27,560 people sickened by Peanut Butter.

In addition, the outbreak strain of Salmonella Tennessee has been isolated from several opened and unopened jars of ConAgra produced Peter Pan and Great Value peanut butter and from two environmental samples obtained from the Sylvester, Georgia ConAgra plant. Rumor also has it that State and Federal labs have tested in excess of 100 jars of peanut butter from Salmonella Tennessee infected persons (stool culture positive) and that dozens of jars have tested positive for Salmonella Tennessee. We have tested nearly 600 jars of peanut butter from clients (Salmonella Tennessee stool culture positive and not), and to date six have tested positive. Several of our positive peanut butter tests, and culture positive clients, have the lid codes with 21116251 on the top (means it was produced by the Sylvester ConAgra plant on September 22, 2006).

I also found this interesting PowerPoint by PulseNet/CDC that asks more questions than it answers.  Interesting charts.  I actually like my PowerPoint a bit better.