U.S. Salmonella deaths rise to nine

Other News Materials 12 February 2009 03:25 (UTC +04:00)

One elderly Ohio woman who died earlier this year has been confirmed to be infected with salmonella, bringing the total number of deaths related to the national outbreak of salmonella in the United States to nine, an official from the Ohio Department of Health said on Wednesday.

The woman was from Medina County, south of Cleveland. Though the woman had the same strain of salmonella associated with the national outbreak, it was unclear if the contamination was directly linked to peanut butter, Xinhua reported.

Peanut Corporation of America's plant in Blakely, Georgia was blamed for a national salmonella outbreak that has sickened 600 people and may have caused at least eight deaths in 44 of the 50 U. S. states. It was accused of shipping salmonella-tainted goods.
The Blakely plant produces peanut butter for use in nursing homes and cafeterias, as well as a concentrated product used in many commercially produced products, including cakes, cookies, crackers, candies, cereal and ice cream.

More than 1,910 peanut butter and peanut paste products have been recalled so far in the ongoing salmonella outbreak, according to the latest count posted on the website of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The U.S. Justice Department and the FDA have jointly launched a criminal investigation on the Blakely plant.

Salmonella bacteria are the most common source of food poisoning in the United States, causing serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy people infected with it often experience fever, diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal pain.