People urged to avoid peanut butter products

Sunday, January 18, 2009

WASHINGTON -- People should avoid eating cookies, ice cream and similar products that contain peanut butter until the government knows more about possible salmonella contamination. But there is no indication that major brands of peanut butter sold in stores are a problem.

That's the word from Stephen Sundlof, a safety official at the Food and Drug Administration.

Federal health officials say the outbreak has affected more than 470 people in 43 states so far. The contamination may be linked to six deaths.

Officials are focusing on peanut paste, as well as peanut butter, produced at a Blakely, Ga., facility owned by Peanut Corp. of America. Its peanut butter is not sold directly to consumers but distributed to institutions and food companies.

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