What is Salmonella?
Salmonella is bacteria which can live in intestines and cause an illness characterized by fever, diarrhea, abdominal pain and vomiting.
How does infection occur?
Mostly through eating contaminated food. Salmonella is killed by heating food to normal cooking temperatures.
Is infection common?
Not in this part of the world. Infection is unusual and is generally associated with undercooked chicken and eggs. If a person happens to ingest live bacteria, he or she generally becomes ill within a week. There is only one report of another peanut butter related outbreak. That occurred in
What should I do if I am ill and/or ate these types of peanut butter?
If you ate Peter Pan or Great Value peanut butter
--within the past 7 days and became ill with fever, diarrhea and stomach cramps, call your physician.
--more than 7 days ago and became ill but have recovered, no testing or treatment is needed.
--more than 7 days ago and did not become ill, there is no concern.
How likely is it that my illness is or was from peanut butter?
Quite unlikely. There are relatively few cases across the nation. Viral intestinal infections are much more common and are by far the most likely cause of these symptoms at all times of the year, including now.
What should I do with my peanut butter?
If you are ill now, keep (but do not use) the peanut butter until your physician completes your evaluation and you have recovered from the illness. Otherwise, discard any Peter Pan or Great Value peanut butter purchased after May 2006. Testing the peanut butter is only advised in cases of proven Salmonella infection.
Where are we now with the peanut butter associated salmonella outbreak?
About 300 cases have been reported nationally. We have known about this problem for a week. Because symptoms occur within a week of ingesting the bacteria and we have been taking precautions to avoid exposure for a week, there should be very few cases appearing at this point.
Where can I get more information?
The Monroe County Health Department operates a Health Information Line for situations like this. Call 753-5600.
If you have a question for one of our doctor's, email us at email@example.com or call 224-8888 x712.