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Peanut butter sales still down

March 15, 2009|Times Wire Reports

The nation's consumers, worried about the widespread salmonella outbreak linked to products from Peanut Corp. of America, continued to shy away from peanut butter in a recent four-week period, according to new sales numbers.

Americans bought 41.8 million pounds of jarred peanut butter in the four-week period that ended Feb. 21 -- 13.3% less than in the year-earlier period, research firm Nielsen said.

The total retail value of jarred peanut butter sales in the period fell 2.3% to $87.2 million from nearly $89.3 million in the same period last year.

In one of the largest recalls in U.S. history, companies have recalled more than 2,100 products containing Peanut Corp.'s peanut butter, including ice cream and dog food. The outbreak that began last year has been linked to nine deaths and more than 600 illnesses.

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