Calif school meal programs added to recall alert

Food Borne Diseases Posted on

At least 175 Southern California school districts and agencies received possibly tainted peanut products as part of the federal school meal program, state Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell said Thursday, warning schools of an expanding recall linked to a nationwide salmonella outbreak.

State officials had previously been told that school meal programs were not affected by a massive recall from Georgia-based Peanut Corp. of America, but the company extended its recall to all peanut products made in its plant since Jan. 1, 2007—including items distributed to schools here, O'Connell said.

"I'm asking all parents and volunteer groups in schools, be sure to check their cupboards and refrigerators for any peanut products or raw cookie dough," O'Connell said.

Agencies were advised to hold or dispose of the products until they get further instructions from USDA, the federal agency that runs the food distribution program.

The affected products were sold under the Peanut Corporation of America, King Nut, and Parnell's Pride brand names.

More than 430 kinds of cakes, cookies and other goods already have been pulled off store shelves in what the Food and Drug Administration is calling one of the largest product recalls in memory.

More than 500 people have been sickened in the United States and as many as eight deaths are linked to the outbreak.

There have been no reports of illness in California schools,

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