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Local stores remove peanut butter

KENDRA MAJORS

Some local stores aren’t taking the salmonella outbreak lightly.

Ingram’s Curb Market, said they didn’t stock some of the items, but the delivery people responsible for pulling their products, such as Little Debbie.

“We didn’t carry the Austin crackers from Kellogg’s, but the Little Debbie man pulled his,” Charlene Jordan, manager at Ingram’s said.

Wal-Mart is also taking precautions.

“The peanut butters you find in a jar, like Great Value & Sam’s Choice peanut butters as well as national-brand peanut butters remain unaffected, as they are not produced by Peanut Corporation of America,” said Anna Taylor, media relations manager for Wal-Mart.

“A number of national-brand products, which contain peanut butter or peanut paste from PCA as an ingredient have been recalled including certain cookies, crackers and ice cream.” The Food and Drug Administration has traced the salmonella outbreak to a Georgia plant owned by Peanut Corp. of America.

The company makes peanut butter and peanut paste and sells it to other institutions and food companies.

Six people may have died from the outbreak and sickened more than 470 others in 43 states.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the bacteria behind the outbreak is common and not an unusually dangerous strain but that the elderly or those with weakened immune systems are more at risk. At least five of the six people who died were elderly. All had salmonella when they died, though their exact causes of death haven’t been determined.

This outbreak is the second in two years involving peanut butter.

The first involved peanut butter produced by ConAgra Foods Inc., of Omaha, Neb. The company said Saturday that neither it nor its suppliers use ingredients from Peanut Corp.

Government officials have advised consumers to avoid eating cookies, cakes, ice cream and other foods containing peanut butter until health officials learn more about the contamination.

Specifically, any Keebler or Austin brand peanut butter crackers manufactured by Kellogg’s, Little Debbie peanut butter cheese sandwich crackers and peanut butter toasty sandwich crackers, and Wal-Mart Bakery cookies, which includes harvest peanut butter fudge no-bake cookies, peanut butter cookies and peanut butter fudge no-bake cookies.

For a complete list of recalled peanut butter items visit the FDA’s Web site where the agency has created a searchable list of recalled products and brands.

“As a precautionary measure Ralcorp Frozen Bakery Products, Inc. has voluntarily recalled in 34 states Wal-Mart Bakery brands of Peanut Butter Cookies, Peanut Butter No-Bake Cookies, and Peanut Butter Fudge No-Bake Cookies.  If we learn of any additional products affected by the recall, we will promptly remove them from our shelves,” Taylor said. ”

“We deeply regret that this product recall has expanded, and our first priority is to protect the health of our customers,” said Stewart Parnell, president of Peanut Corp.

The Kellogg Co. recalled 16 cracker and cookie products, last week.

Monday the company said that federal authorities have confirmed that salmonella was in fact found in a single package of its peanut butter crackers, Austin Quality Foods Toast Crackers with Peanut Butter.

Anna Green contributed to this story