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Lawsuit filed in Minnesota's peanut butter salmonella case

The AP and Brainerd Dispatch report that all three Minnesotans who've died in the recent salmonella outbreak lived in Brainerd, in long-term-care or assisted-living facilities.

An attorney representing the family of an 87-year-old Brainerd woman who lived at an assisted-living facility in Brainerd confirmed Tuesday she died after eating peanut butter products tainted with salmonella.

He said he filed a wrongful death lawsuit Monday in Hennepin County District Court against Lynchburg, Va.-based manufacturer Peanut Corp. of America and distributor King Nut, of Solon, Ohio. The suit alleges the death was a direct result of consuming peanut butter that contained the same genetic strain of salmonella that has sickened more than 500 other people in 43 states and may have caused or contributed to eight deaths nationwide.

More than 390 products -- from energy bars to cookies to dog biscuits -- have been recalled because of possible contamination. Authorities have said that jars of peanut butter available commercially should not be affected.

Earlier this month, Peanut Corp. issued a recall for peanut butter made since July 1 at its plant in Blakely, Ga., because of possible salmonella contamination. The company supplies peanut paste to many companies for use in other products, like cookies, crackers and ice cream and for serving in institutions like nursing homes and hospitals.

Salmonella, a bacterium that is the most common cause of food poisoning in the United States, triggers diarrhea, cramping and fever. It can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections, especially in young children, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems.

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