February 2009

As we end this week, it’s starting to feel like the end of beginning of the Great Peanut outbreak of ’08 and ’09. The number of confirmed Salmonella Typhimurium cases reached 654, adding a dozen, but all within the 44 impacted states that we’ve been looking at.  Among those are at least nine deaths.

Meanwhile, the largest recall of peanut products in history continues with nearly 2,400 separate items now on the U.S. Food & Drug Administration list.  Peanut Corporation of America is now entirely closed down as its Virginia blanching operations ceased operation when the company entered bankruptcy court last Friday.

The Centers For Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) late today provided this update:

As of 9PM EDT, Wednesday, February 18, 2009, 654 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Typhimurium have been reported from 44 states. The number of ill persons identified in each state is as follows: Alabama (2), Arizona (13), Arkansas (6), California (76), Colorado (16), Connecticut (10), Florida (1), Georgia (6), Hawaii (5), Idaho (16), Illinois (10), Indiana (9), Iowa (3), Kansas (2), Kentucky (3), Maine (5), Maryland (10), Massachusetts (48), Michigan (36), Minnesota (41), Missouri (14), Mississippi (7), Nebraska (1), New Hampshire (13), New Jersey (23), New York (30), Nevada (6), North Carolina (6), North Dakota (17), Ohio (94), Oklahoma (4), Oregon (12), Pennsylvania (19), Rhode Island (5), South Dakota (4), Tennessee (13), Texas (9), Utah (6), Vermont (4), Virginia (21), Washington (19), West Virginia (2), Wisconsin (5), and Wyoming (2). Additionally, one ill person was reported from Canada.


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The Texas Department of State Health Services today ordered Peanut Corporation of America to recall all products ever shipped from its Plainview plant.

The order was issued after dead rodents, rodent excrement and bird feathers were discovered yesterday in a crawl space above a production area during an in-depth DSHS inspection.

The inspection also found

Salmonella Typhimurium spread by products from Peanut Corporation of America has killed has killed its ninth victim. Announcement of the death came before the Subcommittee on Oversight & Investigations ended its hearing today into the deadly Salmonella outbreak.

The latest death came in hard-hit Ohio where 92 cases of Salmonella Typhimurium have been confirmed. The

Stewart Parnell, president of Peanut Corporation of America, and Sammy Lightsey, manager of PCA’s Blakely, GA plant both just invoked their rights  under the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution to avoid giving truthful answers to a Congressional panel today in Washington, D.C.

Parnell and Lightsey were asked to respond to explosive emails uncovered by

 This just in from the State of Texas:

Peanut Corporation of America voluntarily closed its Plainview plant last night after laboratory tests of sample products from the plant indicated the possible presence of Salmonella in some products.

PCA notified the Texas Department of State Health Services of the findings on Monday.

DSHS officials said it

 The Food and Drug Administration had initially said Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) retested products after getting an initial positive result for Salmonella. The FDA and PCA said the company shipped the goods after follow-up tests came back negative. Today, the FDA amended the "483" and said the company sent out peanut butter, chopped