Saturday, January 24, 2009

Malaysia alert on U.S. peanut butter

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) -- Malaysia has been alert on all peanut butter products from the United States, putting them on stringent testing, local media reported on Saturday.

The measure called Level Five alert was placed by the Malaysian government after several salmonella-linked deaths found in the United States, local newspaper The Star said on its website.

Malaysian Health Minister Liow Tiong Lai said that some particular batches of contaminated products had been withdrawn from the shelves.

The Malaysian Health Ministry said possibly contaminated dough, which uses peanut butter and peanut paste, has entered Malaysia from Peanut Corporation of America (PCA).

The company has recalled the dough from three sales outlets here and at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, the ministry said.

Liow said that the Malaysian government had raised the alert to Level Five just to ensure that the incoming batches are free of salmonella contamination.

The United States Friday said seven people had died from a nationwide outbreak of salmonella associated with tainted peanut butter and paste sourced to the PCA plant in Blakely, Georgia.

The bacterial strain as Salmonella Typhimurium was found in them, the report said.

Another 10 U.S. firms Friday reportedly also recalled products which use PCA peanut butter or paste, ranging from snack bars to crackers and pre-packaged meals and even pet food.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has said it has no evidence to suggest the contamination originated with any other major manufacturing facility other than the PCA plant, the newspaper said.


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