Feb 16, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – A news report over the weekend linked six Salmonella cases in Colorado to peanut butter made from peanuts produced by Peanut Corp. of America’s (PCA’s) plant in Plainview, Tex., but the natural-foods retail chain that made the peanut butter says tests have found no contamination in samples.The Associated Press (AP) reported Feb 14 that Colorado health officials linked the cases to the Plainview Peanut Co. in Texas, owned by PCA, which also owns the Blakely, Ga., peanut plant blamed for the current nationwide Salmonella outbreak.The AP said the six Colorado cases were traced to peanut butter from Vitamin Cottage Natural Foods, based in Lakewood, Colo. Vitamin Cottage recalled its fresh-ground peanut butter on Feb 2 because of a potential connection to Salmonella cases.But Kemper Isely, co-president of Vitamin Cottage, said today that testing by the company and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has revealed no contamination in peanut butter samples.”No Salmonella has been found in any peanut butter tested so far,” Isely told CIDRAP News. “Both our company and the FDA tested numerous batches. The implication that our peanut butter caused the Salmonella [cases] is a bit premature.”Isely said that 6 of the 16 Coloradoans who have had Salmonella Typhimurium in the current outbreak had Vitamin Cottage peanut butter in their pantries. “We don’t know whether it would’ve been our peanuts” that caused the cases, he said. “There’s lots of places you can get Salmonella.”Vitamin Cottage made peanut butter by grinding roasted peanuts bought from the Texas plant, Isely said. He said the peanuts were roasted in that facility at 350 degrees and so should have been free of pathogens unless they became contaminated after the roasting process.The company voluntarily recalled its peanut butter as a precaution, Isely said. The firm’s recall notice said the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) had reported three people who were infected with the national outbreak strain of Salmonella and who reported eating Vitamin Cottage peanut butter. The CDPHE noted the recall in a Feb 2 news release.The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) ordered PCA on Feb 12 to recall all products ever shipped from the Plainview plant. “The order was issued after dead rodents, rodent excrement and bird feathers were found in a crawl space above a production area during an in-depth DSHS inspection,” the department said in a news release.State inspectors also found that the plant’s air-handling system was not completely sealed and was pulling debris from the infested crawl space into production areas of the plant, leading to adulteration of food products, the DSHS said.Last week, the president of a private laboratory told a congressional committee that his firm had found Salmonella in a product sample from the Plainview plant on Feb 8. Earlier, it was revealed that the Plainview facility had operated without a license or government inspections from 2005 until the current outbreak put PCA in the spotlight.Colorado, Texas, and FDA officials could not be reached for comment on the situation today. Most government offices were closed for the Presidents Day holiday.The Salmonella outbreak involves 636 cases in 44 states and one in Canada, according to the latest count from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The FDA’s recall database page says the outbreak has triggered 2,226 product recalls, though no national brands of peanut butter have been recalled.In other developments, PCA applied for bankruptcy protection on Feb 13, according to a Reuters report. Citing the devastating effects of the outbreak and recalls, the company filed for Chapter 7 protection, under which firms liquidate their assets to repay creditors rather than reorganize, the story said.Meanwhile, a survey by the Harvard School of Public Health found some gaps in the public’s understanding of the peanut product recalls.More than 90% of respondents were aware of the recalls, and 61% said they had taken one or more steps to reduce their risk of getting sick from contaminated peanut products, according to a Harvard news release. But among those aware of the recall, 25% mistakenly believed that major brands of peanut butter were involved.Also, while 70% knew that peanut butter crackers were recalled, fewer than half knew that several other peanut butter products, such as snack bars, cakes, and cookies, were recalled, the release states. The survey of a national random sample of 1,283 adults was conducted between Feb 4 and 8.See also: Feb 12 Texas news release about recall order to Plainview planthttp://www.dshs.state.tx.us/news/releases/20090212-sp.shtmCDC Salmonella outbreak pagehttp://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/typhimurium/update.htmlFDA product recall databasehttp://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/peanutbutterrecall/index.cfmFeb 13 Harvard news release on survey of outbreak awareness
Press Association Pay Day Kitten defied a market drift when showing an excellent attitude in wearing down Hold The Line to land the Naas Median Auction Maiden at Naas in the hands of Pat Smullen. The Dermot Weld-trained filly was off the bridle some way out in the mile contest but stuck to her guns to get up in the shadow of the post after 3-1 favourite Hold The Line had struck for home two furlongs out. Weld said of the 7-2 winner: “She did what I expected her to do. She’s tough and genuine and battled well. She travels well and handles that ground. She handled it in the Curragh as a two-year-old and I thought she would win.” Smullen added: “We knew a mile would take a bit of getting up the hill here in these conditions, so stamina won the day.” Chris Hayes shone with a fine-front running ride on Talitha Kum (7-1) in the Naas Racecourse On Facebook Rated Race. Joseph O’Brien on Fortify tracked her and at one stage looked to be going much the better, but the Paul Deegan-trained winner would not be denied, digging deep to hold on by a neck. Deegan said: “She got it easy in front, but Chris said that once Joseph came to him he was always confident as he knew she’d battle well. We weren’t really expecting that. It was the perfect race to start back in, but we would have preferred if it had been in another week. “She’s done it well and will probably run in the Guineas Trial at Leopardstown now. She’s a proper big filly – gorgeous and straightforward.” Hayes made it a double as Allegra Tak came up the far side of the track to reward market support in the Go Racing In Kildare Handicap for Harry Rogers. The seven-year-old (7-1) had a length and three-quarters in hand over Theyturnedmedown. Rogers said: “She’s been a bit in and out. She looked like the winner at the Curragh last time but downed tools. I thought she was beaten at halfway, but she picked up well when Chris got after her. She seems to like it here and we’ll try and find another one for her.”
Leicester have handed striker Jamie Vardy a “substantial fine” and said he will take diversity awareness training after the England international was filmed using racist language in a casino. “The relationship is okay. We go on and forward. The club has said it is okay. James has apologised and for me it is okay.” Leicester will be hoping it is business as usual at Upton Park, where it looks like Vardy will retain his place in the Foxes team. ”I think so he will start. Every match is different and the manager must choose the best solution for his players,” said Ranieri. Vardy, who opened the scoring for Leicester last weekend as they began the season with a 4-2 home victory over Sunderland, was a late bloomer at the highest level. He was still playing non-league football with Fleetwood as recently as 2012 but made his name following a £1million move to Leicester. That made him the most expensive non-league player in history but he soon began repaying the faith of then-manager Pearson. He scored 16 goals as the Foxes won promotion to the top flight, netting five times during the last campaign as the team fashioned an unlikely escape from relegation. Vardy was rewarded with a maiden England call-up by Roy Hodgson, making his debut as a second-half substitute in the goalless friendly draw against the Republic of Ireland in June. The Sun on Sunday published a video showing Vardy abusing a fellow gambler and calling him ”Jap” on three occasions. The incident is reported to have taken place in the early hours of July 26 and the 28-year-old has since apologised for a ”regrettable error in judgement”. The Barclays Premier League club have been conducting their own investigation into what happened and in a statement on Thursday evening announced they had dealt with the matter. Press Association The statement said: “Leicester City Football Club has concluded its investigation into claims made against Jamie Vardy in the national media last weekend. “Having established a full account of the incident in question and taken into consideration Jamie’s prompt apology, the club has issued the player with a substantial fine and prescribed a programme of diversity awareness training. “Jamie has been reminded of his responsibilities to the club, his profession and the Leicester community. The fine will be donated to local charities. “The club will make no further comment on the matter, which it now deems to be closed.” Earlier in the day Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri insisted Vardy would not be sacked as he fielded questions on the incident at his pre-match press conference, ahead of the trip to West Ham on Saturday. Leicester are owned by the Thai Srivaddhanaprabha family and it is only a matter of weeks since they terminated the contracts of Tom Hopper, Adam Smith and James Pearson, son of former manager Nigel, for their conduct on a close-season tour of Thailand. Ranieri was confident the same fate would not befall Vardy, which the later announcement confirmed. Italian boss Ranieri said: “No. It is not my matter, but he won’t be (sacked). The situation is everything is okay, Jamie apologised to everyone, it was a mistake.