When investigators tested the opened tub of King Nut peanut butter from a Minnesota nursing home, it confirmed their fears. The peanut butter was contaminated with salmonella – the same exact strain of the bacteria as the one linked to three deaths and more than 400 reported cases of salmonella poising in 43 states, according to the Minneapolis-St. Paul Minnesota Star Tribune. An elderly Minnesota woman who had other health problems was among the victims who died.
The product, sold by the King Nut Co., of Solon, Ohio, under the brand names King Nut and Parnell’s Pride, are sold primarily to institutions such as nursing homes, hospitals and schools, or as one health official pointed out in the story, “This product could be in institutions with some pretty vulnerable populations, people who are ill and children.”
King Nut Co., voluntarily asked customers to stop selling the peanut butter, and its distributors are pulling tubs from cafeterias.
Salmonella is a bacteria usually found in poultry, eggs and meat, but also can grow in uncooked processed foods. Salmonella attacks the stomach and intestines, causing diarrhea or constipation, nausea, headaches, fever and vomiting. It is most often spread by improper disinfecting in food preparation. In 2007, an outbreak of salmonella that sickened more than 300 people was linked to Peter Pan brand peanut butter.
Federal health officials say the contamination could have occurred during the manufacturing process or from one of the ingredients. They continue to pinpoint the source of the bacteria, according to the report.