Health officials say Vitamin Cottage Natural Food Markets has recalled its packed, fresh-ground peanut butter as a precaution amid a nationwide salmonella outbreak linked to peanuts.
The Colorado-based grocery chain has stopped grinding peanuts and selling fresh-ground peanut butter in all 28 of its stores in Colorado, New Mexico and Texas, company spokeswoman Nancy Flynn said Wednesday.
The chain has a location in Dallas.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said three Colorado residents who became sick with salmonella had eaten Vitamin Cottage peanut butter.
"It looks fairly significant, but I would not want to make an absolutely direct association out of precaution," said Dan Rifkin, manager of the wholesale food program for the health department.
Flynn said Vitamin Cottage stores stopped grinding peanuts and pulled the peanut butter it already had on Friday, as soon as it was alerted by the federal Food and Drug Administration about the three Colorado cases.
The state health department said none of Vitamin Cottage's peanuts have been identified as contaminated.
Flynn and Rifkin both said the FDA is testing the Vitamin Cottage peanut butter, but they did not know when the results would be in.
The health department said the peanuts Vitamin Cottage used came from Peanut Corp. of American's Texas plant, while the peanuts implicated in the nationwide outbreak came from Peanut Corp. of America's Georgia plant.