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Tainted peanut products sent to schools

Schools in three states received potentially contaminated peanut products, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Friday.

California, Idaho and Minnesota schools were sent roasted peanuts and peanut butter that may have been contaminated with salmonella from the beginning of 2007 to the end of 2008, according to CNN.

The Peanut Corporation of America produced and sent 32 truckloads of peanut products to the schools even after tests results for traces of salmonella bacteria came back positive 12 times, The New York Times reported.

The Agriculture Department, which provides 20 percent of the total amount of food served in schools, bought the products from PCA.

Christine Dufour, spokeswoman for Minnesota, told The New York Times that 197 schools in the state had been sent the peanuts from PCA. Any products still on shelves are being removed, tested and destroyed.

After discovering tainted products from PCA, the U.S. government recalled peanut products dating back to July 1, 2008, and recently expanded that until Jan. 1, 2008. PCA has been suspended for at least one year.

Contaminated peanut products have been linked to 500 illnesses nationwide and eight deaths, CNN reported.