Products in Oklahoma Linked to Salmonella Outbreak

Friday, January 23rd 2009, 6:03 pm
By: News 9

By Amy Lester, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- The recall of peanut butter products have many families across the country pulling items from their pantries, and Oklahoma businesses are also scrambling to keep consumers safe from the salmonella outbreak.

The FDA has a complete list of products associated with the salmonella outbreak.

The peanut butter's causing a salmonella outbreak all over the country. Six people have died, and two in Oklahoma became sick after ingesting contaminated products.

Peanut butter's hidden in a lot of products, making it difficult to avoid a possible encounter with the salmonella virus.

Crest Foods pulled all the recalled products possibly containing tainted peanut butter.

"When it comes down through paperwork, we automatically...take it off the shelf, package it up and get it out of here," Crest Foods Operations Manager Dale Brooks said.

More than 125 products are part of the recall. At Crest, they pulled specific peanut butter energy bars and peanut butter cracker sandwiches off the shelves.

Crest employees are frustrated with the factory Peanut Corporation of America, who is behind the salmonella outbreak.

The OU Medical Center has taken steps to safeguard everyone who eats at the hospital.

"Everything from peanut butter in a jar to Resses' Peanut Butter Cups, and candies with peanut butter in them," said Gordon Heiselbetz of Sodexo Support Services.

The hospital stopped selling anything that contains peanut butter, even if it's not part of the recall.

"We're proud of the fact we're going that extra mile to make sure our patients and visitors are safe," Heiselbetz said.

The hospital got rid of all peanut butter, fearful that this will expand to more products, and experts said that's a possibility.

"As the investigation continues, there may be more products that are going to be put on the voluntary recall list," said Laurence Burnsed of the Oklahoma State Health Department.

The best advice to consumers is check items in to see if the FDA linked to the salmonella outbreak.

"We would recommend you see if you have any of those products," Burnsed said. "If you do, discard them or contact where you purchased them so you can take them back for a refund."