Number of Salmonella Cases Linked to Peanut Butter Tops 600

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - According to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of people sickened since August by peanut butter tainted with salmonella bacteria has grown to 628.

The outbreak that was first reported in February now includes cases in 47 states. The new report offers the first update on the number of cases linked to the outbreak since early March when officials said 425 cases had been confirmed in 44 states, including Alabama.

ConAgra Foods recalled all of its peanut butter products from its Sylvester, Georgia, plant after government investigators linked the salmonella outbreak to the company's Peter Pan and Great Value peanut butter.

The CDC said the number of new salmonella cases dropped substantially after the peanut butter was recalled.

ConAgra plans to re-introduce Peter Pan in July. Initially, another company will produce the peanut butter for ConAgra because it doesn't expect to be able to resume production at its Sylvester plant until sometime in August, after renovations.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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