Watch CBSN Live

Veggie Booty Tied To Salmonella Outbreak

The FDA is warning consumers not to eat Veggie Booty snack food because of possible contamination with salmonellawandsworth, bacterium that causes gastrointestinal illness.

Veggie Booty is a snack of puffed rice and corn with a vegetable coating. Its marketer is recalling all potentially contaminated Veggie Booty, including all expiration dates and all lot codes.

The warning is based on 52 reports of illness across 17 states, beginning in March 2007. The salmonella outbreak is likely ongoing, states an FDA news release.

Almost all cases occurred in children under 10 years old, with the most cases in toddlers. Most patients had bloody diarrhea; four people were hospitalized, according to the FDA.

The FDA and CDCB advise consumers to throw away any Robert's American Gourmet brand Veggie Booty they have in their home. Veggie Booty is sold in a flexible plastic foil bag in 4-ounce, 1-ounce, and 1/2-ounce packages.

Veggie Booty is often eaten by children, so the FDA encourages parents to watch their children and seek medical care if they observe signs of illness.

People who have recently eaten Veggie Booty and who have experienced any possible symptoms of salmonella infection — including abdominal cramps, fever, and diarrhea (which may be bloody) — should contact a doctor or other health care provider immediately and report the illness to state or local health authorities, notes the FDA.

Salmonella symptoms usually begin within one to four days after exposure to the bacteria. Most people don't develop severe illness, but salmonella can invade the bloodstream and cause life-threatening infections, especially in infants and people with health problems or weak immune systems.

Veggie Booty is marketed by Robert's American Gourmet of Sea Cliff, N.Y.

The company has halted Veggie Booty's manufacturing and distribution and is recalling all potentially contaminated products, including all expiration dates and lot codes.

Veggie Booty is sold in all 50 states and Canada at retail locations and over the Internet.

There is no evidence that other products from Robert's American Gourmet have caused diarrhea or other illnesses, according to the CDC.

The CDCB also notes that there is no evidence of salmonella illnesses in people who ate snack foods that aren't marketed by Robert's American Gourmet.

States reporting illnesses include California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin.

The FDA notes that Veggie Booty's maker and marketer are fully cooperating with the FDA's investigation into the cause of the contamination.

The FDA says it learned of the illnesses on June 27 from the CDC, which investigated the illnesses with state and local health officials.

By Miranda Hitti
Reviewed by Louise Chang, M.D.
© 2007, WebMD Inc. All rights reserved