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Salmonella reported in four kids

Warren King, Seattle Times medical reporter

June 29, 2007

Four children in Washington have been sickened by salmonella, which health officials believe has contaminated a nationally-distributed snack food.

The children, including an 18-month-old King County girl, were among more than 50 people in 17 states who had the illness after eating "Veggie Booty" snack food, according to the federal Food and Drug Administration.

A spokesman for Robert's American Gourmet, of Sea Cliff, N.Y., said the company has recalled the snack.

Washington state health officials are advising anyone with the snack to throw it out or return it to the place of purchase. It is sold in a flexible-foil bag in 4-ounce, 1-ounce and half-ounce sizes. The recalled snacks include all codes and expiration dates.

Besides the King County case, two cases were reported in Whatcom County and one in Spokane County. All of the children were younger than 5 and all have recovered, according to Donn Moyer of the state Department of Health. Reports of the illness began in April and continued until early June.

Symptoms of salmonella illness include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, fever, nausea, vomiting and headache. The symptoms typically begin one to four days after infection.

The illness can be life-threatening for infants and people with weakened immune systems.

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