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Beware of that peanut butter, health alert from US

Disease may be lurking in that peanut butter sandwich you’re about to eat. The FFSAI has issued an advisory urging people to avoid consuming peanut butter produced by the Peanut Corporation of America.

business Updated: Nov 04, 2009 21:34 IST
Satyen Mohapatra

Disease may be lurking in that peanut butter sandwich you’re about to eat.

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FFSAI) has issued an advisory urging people to avoid consuming peanut butter produced by the Peanut Corporation of America. In fact, even products that contain PCA's peanut butter as an ingredient, have been proscribed.

According to FSSAI official who did not wish to be identified, the product has been recalled in the US, and its production stopped, after a salmonella outbreak.

Symptoms of Salmonella poisoning, which usually appear 12 to 72 hours after consuming contaminated food, include high fever, diarrhoea, vomiting and abdominal cramps.

In most instances, salmonella infection is relatively benign, and affected people recover without treatment in 3 to 7 days. The advisory warns that if anyone suspects salmonella poisoning, s/he should contact a doctor.

But in young children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems, it may cause lead to serious condition, some times even fatalities. Treatment includes increasing fluid intake and at times antibiotics.

Salmonella food poisoning associated with peanut butter started in the last quarter of 2008 in the US, and claimed 9 lives and infected 714 people.

The sources of the disease was peanut butter and peanut paste produced by the Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) at its Blakely, Georgia processing plant.

Maharashtra Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recalled Rockin Roll (Nutty Peanut flavours) bars produced by Labrada Nutrition from the Indian consignee Nuegen Nutrition Systems which was perceived as likely to be contaminated, and destroyed them.