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Commissaries worldwide are pulling some jars of peanut butter from their shelves because of possible salmonella contamination.

A salmonella outbreak in the United States that has grown to nearly 300 cases in 39 states has been linked to jars of tainted peanut butter from two brands, federal health officials said Wednesday.

The Food and Drug Administration warned consumers Wednesday not to use certain jars of peanut butter from the brands Peter Pan and Great Value due to the risk of contamination with a strain of salmonella that causes food- borne illness.

“If consumers have any of this Peter Pan or Great Value brand peanut butter in their home that has been purchased since May 2006, they should discard it,” a written statement issued by the FDA said.

On Thursday morning, officials from the Defense Commissary Agency confirmed they carry Peter Pan peanut butter and instructed all workers to remove the problematic spread from their shelves. The commissaries do not carry Great Value brand peanut butter.

Kevin Robinson, a spokesman for DeCA, said the recall covers all sizes and types of Peter Pan brand peanut butter beginning with the product code 2111. The code is found on the lid.

“Any commissary customers who have this product at home are asked to return it to the store where purchased for a full refund,” he said.

DeCA is also warning any customers who have eaten the peanut butter and experienced any symptoms related to salmonella — fever, diarrhea and abdominal cramps — to see a doctor immediately.

According to the FDA, salmonella can be life-threatening for people with poor underlying health or weakened immune systems.

ConAgra officials have not announced how much peanut butter is covered in the recall. Robinson could not cite specific stores which have sold the brand in recent months, noting only that commissaries worldwide have been told to stop selling the peanut butter.

Officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention believe the salmonella outbreak to be the nation’s first stemming from peanut butter. The most cases were reported in New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Tennessee and Missouri.

About 20 percent of all the ill were hospitalized, and there were no deaths, Lynch said. About 85 percent of the infected people said they ate peanut butter, CDC officials said.


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