Federal News in Brief

U.S. Says Schools Got Tainted Peanut Foods

By Catherine Gewertz & The Associated Press — February 10, 2009 1 min read
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The U.S. Department of Agriculture said last week that potentially contaminated peanut butter and roasted peanuts processed by the Peanut Corp. of America were sent to schools in California, Idaho, and Minnesota for the free school lunch program in 2007.

A salmonella outbreak blamed on the company has sickened at least 575 people in 43 states. At least eight have died. More than 1,300 foods that used ingredients from the company’s processing plant in Blakely, Ga., have been recalled.

While the outbreak appears to be slowing down, new illnesses are still being reported.

Agriculture Department spokeswoman Susan Acker said schools in the states received the suspected peanut products between January and November of 2007. Federal officials notified the schools and told them to destroy any of the uneaten food, most of which had been consumed.

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A version of this article appeared in the February 11, 2009 edition of Education Week

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