Peanut butter scare changes lunchbox rituals

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) _ The nationwide salmonella outbreak has left many parents in a situation as sticky as peanut butter itself.

They're wondering -- sould they pack their children's lunches with PB&J or stay away from the old standby? In Seabrook, Texas, Dayna Steele is more worried that her 9-year-old son will become sick if he doesn't eat peanut butter.

After years of trying to get him to eat other foods, his pediatrician said, "He's fine. Let him eat all the peanut butter he wants. When he meets a girl, he'll start eating something else.''

Steele, a former rock deejay turned motivational speaker, has been holding her breath every time another recall notice pops up. She's confident for now that the tubs of Kroger-brand peanut butter her son favors are safe.

The salmonella outbreak has sickened some 600 people in 43 states and is being linked to nine deaths. More than 1,900 products have been recalled, and the company at the heart of the recall Peanut Corp. of America is under FBI investigation.

Texas late this week ordered a recall of all products from the company's now-closed Plainview plant. The items were recalled after an inspection turned up dead rodents, rodent excrement and bird feathers in a crawl space above a production area.