January 22, 2009

News Release

For Immediate Release

Health Department Offers Recommendations for Avoiding Salmonella

In the wake of a multi-state Salmonella outbreak linked to King Nut peanut butter, the Springfield-Greene County Health Department encourages area residents to protect themselves by following recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration.

Those agencies recommend the following:

King Nut peanut butter is not sold directly to consumers, but is commonly used in products such as cookies, crackers, cereal, candy, ice cream and other foods. Austin® and Keebler® snack crackers have been specifically implicated in the outbreak. To see the FDA’s complete list of recalled products, visit the Springfield-Greene County Health Department Web site at http://www.springfieldmo.gov/health/.

Health department staff have contacted local organizations to ensure they are aware of the recall and are not using any potentially contaminated products.

The CDC reports 486 cases of Salmonella linked to this outbreak in 43 states, including nine cases in Missouri, but to date Greene County has not received any reports of Salmonellosis related to the outbreak.

Salmonellosis is a bacterial infection. Several hundred cases are reported in Missouri each year. Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps 12–72 hours after infection. Most people recover on their own within a few days. Some people may develop severe infections. Infants, senior adults and people with weakened immune systems are more at risk of developing severe illness, which occurs when Salmonella spreads into the bloodstream. It can be fatal if not treated quickly.

Good hand washing and sanitizing common surfaces with a bleach water solution of 1:10 will help prevent the spread of Salmonella and many other illnesses.

Media Contact: Jaci McReynolds, Public Information Administrator (417) 874-1205 office • (417) 830-9511 cell

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Harold K. Bengsch Building

227 E. Chestnut Expwy. • Springfield, MO 65802
417-864-1658 • health.springfieldmo.gov