Peanut Butter recall; Signs and symptoms of Salmonella

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Reported by: Brittany Jeffers
Updated: 10/02/2012 10:51 pm Published: 10/02/2012 10:18 pm

The nationwide recall of peanut butter has vastly expanded to include dozens of peanut butter, tahini, and other nut butter products, many sold under popular brand names.

All of the products use nuts from Sunland Farms. The New Mexico nut company is the likely source of a salmonella outbreak that so far has sickened 30 people in 19 states.

Shoppers in Tulsa told FOX23 that the recall has forced them to pay attention to what they put in their cart and their body.

Lynda Swenton of Tulsa said she pays attention to recalls even if it doesn’t affect her directly. “I’m very aware of those things,” said Swenton, “I don’t buy them right away or wait to buy them.”

Lyle Osborn says that he tries to be an informed consumer because of the health of his children. “You keep your eyes and ears open for it,” said Osborn.

The recall includes some nut butters and nut products sold at Whole Foods Market, Target, Safeway, Fresh & Easy, Giant Food, Harry and David and several other stores.

Medical professionals say the best thing that consumers can do to protect themselves is to pay attention to lot numbers and products involved in the recall.

Professor of Microbiology at OSU Health and Sciences, Stan Conrad, says that Salmonella can’t be detected by the naked eye because the organism is so small.

“They are about one micron or one millionth of a meter,” said Dr. Conrad. Salmonella is typically cultured and then detected using a microscope. Dr. Conrad said that organism releases toxins that cause a person to become ill.

Professor of Forensic Sciences at OSU Center for Health Sciences, Dr. Tom Glass, says an infection with salmonella bacteria usually affects the gastrointestinal system (the stomach and intestines) in humans.

Symptoms can include vomiting, diarrhea and fever. Dr. Glass said the illness is typically self contained. “Typically by the fourth day people will begin to feel better.”

Dr. Glass said that dehydration is the main fear when dealing with a salmonella infection. Dr. Glass said children under 5, older adults or people with weak immunes systems are particularly vulnerable to Salmonella food poisoning.

“We don’t have that number, but we know there certainly is a critical number for each person that would make them sick,” said Dr. Glass.

Dr. Chandini Sharma, the Director of Geriatrics at OSU Medical Center, says that you shouldn’t ignore you symptoms if you consume any of the recalled products and you don’t feel better within in a few days.

“Once you reach the point of week long symptoms and they aren’t getting any better then it is a good time to get evaluated because there can be complications,” said Dr. Sharma.

The recall does not include Jif or other main brands. To see the entire list of recalled items and where they are sold click here. 

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