INDIANAPOLIS — From jars of peanut butter to baked goods, a recall of Jif peanut butter has prompted many producers to recall their products. All of the product recalls include Jif peanut butter in some fashion.
Here is what we know about the source of these recalls and the outbreak investigation behind them.
Why are all these products being recalled?
The source of the recall goes back to an initial recall from J.M. Smucker Company. In response to an outbreak of Salmonella Senftenberg, the company recalled certain Jif brand peanut butter products. All the recalled products were manufactured in Lexington, Kentucky.
The FDA, CDC, and state and local partners are investigating the outbreak. So far, 16 illnesses and 2 hospitalizations have been reported in connection with the outbreak.
As of May 25, the CDC reports that of 10 people interviewed, everyone reported eating peanut butter before becoming ill. Of the nine people who reported brand information, all reported eating different varieties of Jif brand peanut butter.
The products were distributed nationwide as well as to Canada, Dominican Republic, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, Korea, Thailand, Honduras, Spain, and Japan.
What is Salmonella?
The FDA reports that Salmonella is a group of bacteria that can cause gastrointestinal illness and fever called salmonellosis. It can be spread by food handlers who don’t wash their hands or the surface and tools they use between food preparation steps, among other ways.
Most people infected with the bacteria will begin to develop symptoms 12-72 hours after infection. The illness usually lasts four to seven days. Usual symptoms include diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps.
There are more severe cases that may include a high fever, aches, headaches, lethargy, a rash, blood in the urine or stool, and in some cases may become fatal. The CDC estimates around 450 persons in the United States die each year from acute salmonellosis.
How did the outbreak get linked to the Lexington plant?
The FDA conducted a DNA analysis on a sample collected at the Lexington facility in 2010. The sample matched the strain causing the illnesses in the outbreak. The FDA concluded that Jif brand peanut butter produced at the facility was the likely cause of illnesses in the outbreak.
Where are people getting sick?
People who reported illnesses live in Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Montana, Ohio, North Carolina, New York, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Washington.
The CDC notes that the outbreak may not be limited to these states, as many people recover without medical care and are not tested for Salmonella.
Why are non-Jif products being recalled?
Several associated recalls have been initiated as a result of the outbreak investigation. The FDA said the recalls are being conducted by companies that further processed the peanut butter by using it as an ingredient in new products or by repackaging it.
Here are links to some of the recalls that we have covered so far:
What should you do if you suspect you got sick from a recalled product?
The FDA said consumers who have symptoms should contact their health care provider to report their symptoms and receive care.
To report a complaint or adverse event (illness or serious allergic reaction), you can
- Call an FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinator if you wish to speak directly to a person about your problem.
- Complete an electronic Voluntary MedWatch form online.
- Complete a paper Voluntary MedWatch form that can be mailed to FDA.