Health officials are investigating a multistate salmonella outbreak they believe is linked to some Jif peanut butter products.
The Food and Drug Administration, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other state and local health agencies, are investigating an outbreak of Salmonella Senftenberg, the agency said in an announcement.
As a result, the J. M. Smucker Co. is recalling many of its Jif peanut butter products produced at a plant in Lexington, Kentucky, for possible contamination, according to the Food and Drug Administration.
So far, 14 people in 12 states have reported illnesses connected to the outbreak, the CDC said. Two were hospitalized. All five people who contacted the CDC had reported eating peanut butter, with four of them specifically eating Jif peanut butter before getting ill, the CDC said.
“Epidemiologic evidence indicates that Jif brand peanut butter produced in the J.M. Smucker Company facility located in Lexington, KY, is the likely cause of illnesses in this outbreak,” the FDA said.
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The release says an analysis based on a 2010 environmental sample has linked the current strain to the plant. “FDA’s investigation is ongoing and more information will be provided as it becomes available,” the agency said.
Consumers should not eat – and restaurants and stores should not serve or sell – any of the recalled Jif peanut butter products, which were shipped nationwide. And the products have a two-year shelf life, so consumers should check any they have on hand, the FDA says. The products have lot code numbers 1274425 through 2140425.
Some Jif products, with the same lot code numbers, were shipped to Canada and have been recalled, too.
Neither J.M. Smucker Co. nor the FDA described the size of the recall. J.M. Smucker did immediately return a request for comment.
The last illness was reported May 1. States where illnesses have been reported: Arkansas, Georgia (2 cases), Illinois, Massachusetts, Missouri, Ohio, North Carolina, New York, South Carolina, Texas (2), Virginia and Washington.
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A full list of recalled products is available from the FDA.
If you have used any of the products, the FDA recommends washing and sanitizing surfaces and utensils that could have touched the peanut butter. If you or someone in your household ate this peanut butter and has symptoms of salmonellosis, please contact your healthcare provider.
Most who get sick from salmonella develop symptoms 12 to 72 hours after infection. Patients may develop diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps. More severe cases may include aches, headaches, elevated fever, lethargy, rashes, blood in the urine or stool, and in some cases may become fatal.
The illness, which is called salmonellosis, typically lasts four to seven days and most recover without treatment. The CDC estimates that about 1.35 million people in the U.S. get salmonellosis annually; about 26,500 are hospitalized, and 420 die.
This isn’t the first peanut butter recall this year. In March, Skippy Foods, LLC recalled 9,353 cases or 161,692 total pounds of select peanut butter products because they could contain small stainless steel fragments.
Follow Mike Snider on Twitter: @mikesnider.