Salmonella death in Minnesota brings U.S. total to 7

CHICAGO (Reuters) - The number of deaths related to the U.S. outbreak of salmonella has risen to seven with the death of a Minnesota woman in her 80s.

The woman had been living in a long-term care facility, a spokesman for the Minnesota Department of Health said on Saturday.

Her name and date of death were not released. It was the third death tied to salmonella in Minnesota.

The spokesman said he did not know if the woman had eaten peanut butter. Several products containing peanut butter have been recalled as the U.S. government investigates the outbreak of salmonella food poisoning.

On Wednesday, federal officials said the sole source of the U.S. salmonella outbreak involving contaminated peanut butter appears to be the Peanut Corp of America’s Blakely, Georgia, processing facility.

The company produces peanut butter for use in nursing homes and cafeterias, as well as a concentrated product used in many commercially produced products, including cakes, cookies, crackers, candies, cereal and ice cream.

More than 125 products including cookies, crackers, ice cream and even some pet foods have been recalled in connection with the outbreak, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said.

As of Wednesday evening, 491 people had been reported infected by a salmonella outbreak by public health authorities in 43 of the 50 U.S. states, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on its website.

Salmonella can cause abdominal cramping, diarrhea and fever and it can kill the very young and very old.

Reporting by Jessica Wohl; editing by Mohammad Zargham