Food inspectors conducting recall effectiveness checks in the state this week in response to the nationwide salmonella outbreak linked to King Nut peanut butter have confirmed the presence of salmonella bacteria in an unopened five-pound tub of peanut butter found at a Connecticut food distributor, Consumer Protection Commissioner Jerry Farrell, Jr.

“This is the first unopened tub of King Nut peanut butter found in the country that is definitively identified as being tainted with salmonella,” Farrell said.

“My office just received the results from the Connecticut Department of Public Health Laboratory confirming the presence of Salmonella Type B in an unopened tub. This provides further evidence that some lots of King Nut brand peanut butter delivered to food service accounts are responsible for a recent outbreak of salmonella infections in consumers.”

The product, bearing one of the lot numbers identified in the recall, (lot # 8234 with a production date of 8/21/2008) was found at City Line distributors of West Haven. It was the only tub of that recalled lot. However, agency inspectors have taken samples of the other King Nut peanut butter tubs for analysis.

“City Line is cooperating fully with our agency, is sharing with us its distribution lists identifying where the other tubs of King Nut peanut butter were shipped, and we are contacting the appropriate health and consumer protection officials with this information,” Farrell said. “We believe that the peanut butter was distributed to a variety of locations in Connecticut, New York, Rhode Island and Mass., and we are going make sure the company takes appropriate action to prevent this product from being served.”

Peanut Corporation of America, the manufacturer of the King Nut peanut butter, recalled the product when it was informed that salmonella had been found in an open five-pound tub of King Nut peanut butter. All other King Nut products are safe and not included in this voluntary recall.

This product is not sold in retail stores, and therefore is unlikely to be in consumers’ homes.

The Salmonella bacteria can cause an infection known as Salmonellosis, which often produces diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most persons recover without treatment. However, in some persons, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. In these patients, the Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the blood stream, and then to other body sites and can cause death unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics. Older adults, infants, and those with impaired immune systems are more likely to experience severe illness, and should be seen by a physician if they experience these symptoms.