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Man reports jar of suspect peanut butter

A jar of Peter Pan peanut butter with a possible connection toalmost 300 nationwide cases of salmonella may have been purchasedat the Brookhaven Wal-Mart.

Bob Weathersby, a traveling salesman for Grumman Distributors,said he saw a report on the news this morning and checked thepeanut butter in his cabinet. He said he found a jar that had aserial number beginning with “2111,” which is the number forrecall.

“My wife works in McComb and she does most of the shopping,” hesaid. “She could have gotten it at the Kroger or Wal-Mart inMcComb, but I’m pretty sure she got it here in Brookhaven.”

A person who answered the telephone today at the BrookhavenWal-Mart Supercenter said calls had been coming in all morning.

“We’ve had a bunch of calls checking to see what the serialnumber is,” she said.

ConAgra, the distributors of Peter Pan and a maker of thegeneric version Great Value, has released an official pressstatement on its Web site, www.conagrafoods.com. The release dealswith how to go about receiving a refund. Great Value peanut buttermade by other manufacturers is not affected.

ConAgra is currently recalling the peanut butter from the batchwith the 2111 serial number, and its plant in Sylvester, Ga., hasceased production of peanut butter until the exact cause ofcontamination is determined.

Stephanie Childs, spokesperson for the Sylvester office ofConAgra, said the best recourse is not to return suspect peanutbutter jars to the store they were bought from, but to dealdirectly with the company.

“The best thing they could do at this time is to discard theproduct and save the lid,” she said. “Then they should mail it withtheir name and mailing address to our office in Irvine, Calif.”

The Associated Press reported the salmonella outbreak hadincluded 300 cases in 39 states since August, and could be thefirst time salmonella has been associated with peanut butter inU.S. history.

So far there have been no deaths associated with this particularoutbreak, and there is no word at this time on how salmonella couldfind its way into peanut butter.

”Although none of our extensive product tests have indicatedthe presence of salmonella, we are taking this precautionarymeasure because consumer health and safety is out top priority,”spokesman Chris Kircher told The AP. ”We are working closely withthe FDA to better understand its concerns, and we will takewhatever additional measures are needed to ensure the safety,quality and wholesomeness of our products.”

Symptoms of salmonella can include diarrhea, fever, dehydration,abdominal pain and vomiting.

Consumers who have a jar of the suspect peanut butter in theirpossession are urged to send the lid only to:

ConAgra Foods

P.O. Box 57078

Irvine, CA 92619