Brainerd played a role in a national salmonella outbreak in January when three elderly residents here died after eating peanut butter tainted with the bacteria.
The King Nut brand of creamy peanut butter had been distributed in the state to long-term care facilities, among others.
Clifford Tousignant, 78, a resident of Good Samaritan Society-Bethany in Brainerd; Shirley May Almer, 72, who was from Perham but was a resident of Good Samaritan-Woodland in Brainerd; and Doris Flatgard, 87, a resident of Good Samaritan's Oakwood House in Brainerd, died after contracting salmonella from peanut butter. About 10 other nursing home residents in Brainerd were sickened by salmonella.
Clifford Tousignant, 78, a resident of Good Samaritan Society-Bethany in Brainerd, was one of three who died after contracting salmonella from peanut butter. About 10 other nursing home residents in Brainerd were sickened by salmonella. Dispatch file photo
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The salmonella outbreak sickened more than 500 other people in 43 states and may have caused or contributed to eight deaths nationwide.
The outbreak was traced to the Peanut Corp. of America's peanut plant in Blakely, Ga., where Food and Drug Administration inspectors found roaches and mold while trying to find the source of the salmonella, according to an Associated Press story.
The criminal investigation into the matter resulted in one of the largest product recalls ever, but as of November, there were no criminal charges. More than 390 products - from energy bars to cookies to dog biscuits - were recalled due to possible contamination. The recall did not affect jars of peanut butter available commercially.
Wrongful death lawsuits were filed by the victims' families in Hennepin County District Court against Peanut Corp. of America and its distributor, King Nut of Solon, Ohio.
JODIE TWEED may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5858.
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