UPDATE (1/26/09): WETM has reported that a case of salmonella poisoning in Steuben County may be linked to the national outbreak. State officials are investigating.
For the last several weeks, local, state and federal health departments have been scrambling to find the source of a salmonella outbreak that has sickened more than 500 people across 43 states and caused the death of at least 6 people.
Federal investigators announced yesterday that they have traced the strain of salmonella to the Blakely, Georgia plant of peanut processing giant Peanut Corporation of America (PCA). The company makes peanut butter and peanut butter paste, selling its products to food companies, schools and nursing homes. The nursing home and schools customer base is particularly concerning, as the young and the elderly are most likely to become seriously ill or die from salmonella infection. Because PCA sells its products to food companies, the salmonella has found its way into a wide variety of products, making the job of finding the source that much harder.
As a precautionary measure, schools, restaurants and grocery stores across the Southern Tier, New York and the nation have been yanking peanut products off the shelves. The recall has even been extended to some dog treats containg peanut products. All affected peanut products are included on a comprehensive recall list far too numerous to list here. The list can be found on the FDA‘s website by clicking here.
Salmonella is a serious illness that can be fatal to children, the elderly, and those with a weakened immune system. It causes nausea, vomiting, fever, diarrhea and abdominal cramps.
If you think you may have contracted Salmonella from the tainted peanut products you should see your doctor and be tested for Salmonella. Testing will confirm both the fact that you have Salmonella (as opposed to some other intestinal illness) and also confirm that the strain of salmonella you have is the same strain indicated in this peanut product outbreak.
If you have a package of the recalled peanut products and believe you may have contracted Salmonella DO NOT THROW IT OUT!!! Instead, secure the package so that no one else will consume it, attempt to locate your sales receipt showing your purchase of the contaminated cereal and consult legal counsel immediately.
The Ziff Law Firm will be accepting salmonella cases related to this peanut product recall, as we have in previous food-borne illness cases.
Thanks for reading,
Adam M. Gee, Esq.
NY and PA Personal Injury and Malpractice Attorney
Ziff, Weiermiller, Hayden & Mustico, LLP
303 William Street
Elmira, NY 14901