HEIDELBERG, Germany (Army News Service, Jan. 27, 2008) - Europe Regional Veterinary Command food inspectors are assisting in the recall of peanut butter products from store shelves, vending machines, theaters, dining facilities and other places on U.S. bases where those items may be sold or distributed.

"Peanut butter products identified by the FDA and corporate recalls have been removed from U.S. military outlets in Europe," said Lt. Col. Martin LaGodna, deputy commander of the Europe Regional Veterinary Command. "Our inspectors will continue to assist as needed to remove additional food products if any are identified."

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced corporate recalls of peanut butter products, including some pet foods, following a Jan. 10 notification by the Peanut Corporation of America of potential Salmonella typhimurium contamination in bulk peanut butter and peanut butter paste produced after June 30 at its processing plant in Blakely, Ga.

The bulk peanut butter products in question may have been used in a variety of commercially produced food products. A list of the potentially affected foods is on the FDA Web site at www.fda.gov.

The Centers for Disease Control reports as of Jan. 23 the case count is 491 in 43 states.
For details, visit the CDC Web site at www.cdc.gov and click the "Salmonella" link.

Col. Evelyn Barraza, Europe Regional Medical Command Preventive Medicine consultant, said medical treatment facilities have been made aware of the recall and are prepared to assist authorized beneficiaries who may present symptoms of salmonella.

Salmonella can cause diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection. The illness usually lasts four to seven days, and most persons recover without treatment. The elderly, infants, and those with impaired immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness, medical officials said. They said persons with diarrhea usually recover completely, although it may be several months before their bowel habits are entirely normal.

If there is any question about whether a product in the commissary, AAFES Shoppette or vending machines is or is not safe, customers are asked to contact their local Veterinary Services.

FDA and CDC recommendations for consumers include:

Aca,!Ac Do not eat products that have been recalled. Throw them away in a manner that prevents others from eating them or returning them to the store for a refund.

Aca,!Ac To determine if commercially prepared or manufactured peanut butter/peanut paste-containing products (such as cookies, crackers, cereal, candy and ice cream) are subject to recall, consumers are urged first to visit the FDA's Web site and check the searchable database of recalled products.

Aca,!Ac For information on products containing peanut butter from companies not reporting recalls, consumers may wish to consult the company's Web site or call the toll-free number listed on most packaging. Information consumers may receive from the companies has not been verified by the FDA.

Aca,!Ac If consumers cannot determine if their peanut butter, peanut butter/peanut paste-containing products or institutionally served peanut butter contains PCA peanut butter/peanut paste, FDA recommends that they do not consume those products.

Aca,!Ac Those who think they may be ill from eating peanut butter should consult their health care provider.