There was a bit of confusion over the weekend about whether there were one or four deaths in Ohio from eating Salmonella-tainted Peanut Butter. At this point, we will assume that it is one per the Ohio Department of Health Press Release. Good news is that it downgrades the death count from 11 to eight. Good news for three families.
Sixty-seven cases of Salmonella poisoning have been reported in Ohio, the most in any state during a nationwide outbreak linked to peanut butter products. The Ohio Department of Health announced Friday that four deaths (but that was a typo, there is "only" 1) have been reported among the 67 cases and 19 people have been hospitalized. Across the state, Salmonella has been reported in 26 of 88 counties. Ohioans who contracted the bacteria have ranged in age from 2 months to 89 years.
The number of ill nationwide has reached nearly 500, over 100 hospitalizations and 8 deaths. What will this week bring?
It is likely that bird or rat feces in the Peanut Corporation of America peanut butter started all of this. There is the ever-expanding list of Salmonella free products. The FDA list of products containing tainted peanut butter continues to grow as does the list of the deaths. This morning Ohio reported four deaths (not confirmed by Department of Health which now says 1) linked to Salmonella-tainted peanut butter. Yesterday, Minnesota reported three deaths. Before that, Virginia, Idaho and North Carolina had reported a total of four deaths. By my math that adds up to eight people killed by eating peanut butter – eating peanut butter for goodness sake. However, the CDC reports only seven deaths – so far.
Weeks ago I asked the CDC, FDA, King Nut and Peanut Corporation of America to respond to the following, however, there still has been limited, or no, response to my To Do List.
1. Make sure ALL product is promptly recalled;‚Ä®
2. Do not destroy any documents;‚Ä®
3. The companies should pay the medical bills and all related expenses of the innocent victims and their families;‚Ä®
4. The companies should pay the cost of all related Health Department, CDC and FDA investigations;‚Ä®
5. Provide all bacterial and viral testing of all recalled product and any other tested product (before and after recall);‚Ä®
6. Release all inspection reports on the plants by any Governmental Entity or Third-party Auditor;‚Ä®
7. Release all Salmonella safety precautions taken by either King Nut or Peanut Corporation of America – especially after the 2007 Salmonella Peanut Butter Outbreak;‚Ä®
8. Provide the public with the Epidemiological investigation (with names redacted), so it is clear who knew what and when about the likely source of the outbreak; and,‚Ä®
9. Show the public what is being done to prevent the next outbreak.
Where is the Corporate and Governmental responsibility to the people?
As the Denver Post reports, Tuesday Marler Clark settled with ConAgra Foods the claims of six more victims – three of them in Colorado – who were sickened or died after eating E. coli-tainted beef last summer. That brings to 21 the number of cases ConAgra has agreed to pay without going to court. At least six more victims’ claims are pending from the 18.6 million-pound meat recall in July.
The six claims settled Tuesday involved the most seriously affected by the meat, including a 68- year-old Ohio woman who died, the only death among 47 illnesses linked to the recall.
The Colorado cases settled Tuesday involve two girls, 2 and 17, and a 4-year-old boy. The other settlements involve a 2-year-old Nebraska boy and a 7-year-old boy from South Dakota.
The victim who died was Patricia Pfouts of Whitehall, Ohio, who worked as a day-care provider at a grocery store where some of the tainted meat was sold.