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King Nut Companies on Sunday asked its customers to stop using peanut butter under its King Nut and Parnell's Pride brands with a lot code that begins with the numeral "8."
However, company president and chief executive Martin Kanan argued that King Nut could not be the sole source of the nationwide salmonella outbreak because the company distributes only to Ohio, Minnesota, Michigan, North Dakota, Arizona, Idaho and New Hampshire. Those states account for 141 of the 410 salmonella cases confirmed as of Monday, according to the CDC.
All the illnesses began between Sept. 15 and Jan. 7, but most of the people became sick after Oct. 1.
The recalled peanut butter was distributed to establishments such as care facilities, hospitals, schools, universities and restaurants. No other King Nut products have been voluntarily recalled.
The peanut butter contamination comes almost two years after ConAgra recalled its Peter Pan brand peanut butter, which was eventually linked to at least 625 salmonella cases in 47 states.
CDC officials say the bacteria in the current outbreak has been genetically fingerprinted as the Typhimurium type, which is among the most common sources of salmonella food poisoning.
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