FDA Says Tests Confirm Salmonella In Snack Food Caused Outbreak

Friday, July 13th 2007, 9:07 pm
By: News On 6

WASHINGTON, AP) _ Tests have confirmed that a strain of salmonella found in Veggie Booty snack food was responsible for an outbreak of the disease last spring that sickened 61 people, the Food and Drug Administration said Friday.

The agency's findings supported earlier testing by the Minnesota Agricultural Lab, the FDA said in a statement.

Veggie Booty is marketed by Robert's American Gourmet Inc. of Sea Cliff, N.Y. The company says that seasoning, believed made with Chinese ingredients, contained the salmonella and that it had purchased the seasoning from Atlantic Quality Spice & Seasonings of Edison, N.J.

The FDA advised consumers not to eat any Veggie Booty and Super Veggie Tings Crunchy Corn Sticks because of concerns of contamination. A recall was ordered by Robert's American Gourmet on June 28.

People in 19 states, nearly all of them children 3 and younger, became sick after eating the tainted snacks, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. Six children were hospitalized, and at least one lawsuit has been filed in connection with the outbreak.

The CDC said states reporting cases of illness were California, seven; Colorado, five; Connecticut, two; Georgia, one; Illinois, two; Indiana, one; Massachusetts, four; Minnesota, two; New Hampshire, two; New Jersey, two; New York, 15; Oregon, one; Pennsylvania, four; Tennessee, one; Texas, two; Virginia, one; Vermont, three; Washington, four; and Wisconsin, two.

Symptoms of salmonella include fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. The bacteria can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections, especially in young children, frail or elderly people and others with weakened immune systems.