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Potentially tainted peanut products sent to schools

  • Story Highlights
  • Schools in three states may have been sent tainted peanut product
  • Most products consumed by now with no illnesses reported
  • Any recalled products still in schools will be removed
  • Contaminated products linked to more than 500 illnesses nationwide
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(CNN) -- Peanut products sent to schools in three states may have been contaminated with salmonella, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Friday.

However, most of the products have been consumed by now, and no illnesses have been linked to them, the department said.

Between the beginning of 2007 and the end of June 2008, some schools in California received potentially tainted peanut butter and roasted peanuts; in Idaho and Minnesota it was only roasted peanuts, the Agriculture Department said.

After the discovery that some products from Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) were contaminated with salmonella, the U.S. government initially recalled products dating back to July 1, 2008. But the government later expanded the recall to include products dating back to January 1, 2007.

As part of that expansion, the government is recalling products from PCA that the Agriculture Department had sold to some schools in the three states.

The department, which provides 20 percent of what is served in schools, had bought some products from PCA.

Any recalled products still in schools will be removed, tested and destroyed, the department said.

It announced Thursday that it was suspending PCA and its subsidiary, Tidewater Blanching LLC, from doing business with the federal government for at least a year.

Neither PCA nor Tidewater Blanching returned calls seeking comment.

Many hundreds of commercial products potentially linked to the outbreak have been recalled.

Contaminated products have been linked to more than 500 illnesses nationwide, including eight deaths.

All About Peanut Corporation of AmericaU.S. Department of Agriculture

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