updated 5/17/2006 9:08:04 PM ET 2006-05-18T01:08:04

A man is suing Kraft Foods Inc., claiming he found what appeared to be a rodent tooth in a package of Planters peanuts he bought last year.

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Carl Cornett, 52, filed the lawsuit in St. Clair County Circuit Court, seeking up to $55,000 in damages from the nation's largest food company. It was not immediately clear when the suit was filed.

A spokeswoman for Kraft, which packages Planters peanuts in Arkansas and Virginia, declined comment Tuesday to the St. Louis Post- Dispatch. Laurie Guzzinati said the Northfield-based company does not discuss pending litigation. The company did not immediately return a call from The Associated Press Wednesday.

The suit alleges that Cornett bought the peanuts at an O'Fallon store last August and later was eating them at his home when he bit into a "non-human animal tooth." Cornett's attorney, Jack Johnston, said the tooth "looks like it would be from a herbivorous rodent of some type."

According to the lawsuit, Cornett became physically and mentally ill, worried that he might have exposed himself to disease.

Johnston said Kraft asked him to submit the tooth for testing. Johnston declined, saying he refused to part with the evidence.

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