A frightening national outbreak of salmonella poisoning may have struck in the Twin Tiers.

A case of salmonella in Steuben County could be linked to the national outbreak caused by contaminated peanut butter. WETM recently reported (see story below) that the health department is investigating to confirm if the area case was caused by tainted products from the Peanut Corporation of America’s plant in Blakely, Ga.

National news sources report that the number of deaths caused by this outbreak has risen to seven. WETM reports 19 cases in New York alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s most recent outbreak update, there have been 501 reported cases in 43 states.

Protect yourself

Check the FDA online database for a list of recalled products. The PCA plant processed peanuts for use in hundreds of products, including pet food.

Many food labels include a consumer hotline number – you can call that number to see if a product has been affected by the recall.

What happens next

Salmonella is a common bacterium. The usual cause for it to reach harmful levels is improper food handling. A congressional inquiry may lead to changes in food safety laws. News agencies are reporting that the PCA plant had already been cited for violations.

The good news

Despite this newly reported case in Steuben County, the CDC reports that the salmonella outbreak is in decline.

Thanks for reading,

James B. Reed, Esq.
Personal Injury & Malpractice Attorney
Ziff Law Firm, LLP
303 William St., Elmira, NY 14902
Tel. (607) 733-8866 Fax. (607) 732-6062
Toll-free 1-800-943-3529
mailto: jreed@zifflaw.com http://www.zifflaw.com

Update: Investigation into Local Salmonella Case

Reported by: Camille Williams, WETM-TV, 1/26/09

In a few days, the New York State Health Department says they might know if a local salmonella case is linked to tainted peanut butter.

Many peanut butter products have been recalled due to salmonella contamination.

There are 19 reported cases of salmonella in New York State, one of them in Steuben County.

On Monday night, the person’s condition was unknown.

Officials are not releasing a name, age or any information that could identify the individual.

However, they’re asking those who’ve been affected to save their peanut butter products.

“We ask that they save any portion of the suspected peanut butter or whatever product it is and send it to the Wadsworth lab for testing.” says a New York State spokesperson

The Wadsworth lab is in Albany.

Officials say more than 500 people have been sickened by the nationwide salmonella outbreak.