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Army pulls some peanut butter rations

Associated Press / January 30, 2009
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WASHINGTON - Worried about salmonella, the Army said it's removing some peanut butter items from warehouses in Europe, the latest in an ever-growing list of recalled peanut products linked to a national salmonella outbreak.

Already more than 430 kinds of cakes, cookies, and other goods in the civilian world have been pulled off store shelves in what the Food and Drug Administration is calling one of the largest product recalls in memory. The Army's recall does not affect Meals-Ready-to-Eat, but another kind of military grub called Unitized Group Rations-A, which provide a complete 50-person meal.

More than 500 people have gotten sick in the outbreak, and at least eight may have died. At the center of the investigation is a Georgia peanut processing plant where federal inspectors reported finding roaches, mold, a leaking roof, and other problems.

Managers at the Blakely, Ga., plant owned by Peanut Corporation of America continued shipping peanut products even after they were found to contain salmonella, the FDA said. The company shipped the items after retesting them and getting negative results. Peanut Corp. expanded its recall Wednesday to all peanut goods produced at the plant since Jan. 1, 2007.

A senior lawmaker in Congress and Georgia's agriculture commissioner called for a criminal probe of the company.

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