The maker of Jif has issued a recall for certain varieties of its peanut butter in connection with a salmonella outbreak that has sickened 14 people in a dozen states.
The salmonella infections were reported in 12 states, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Missouri, Ohio, North Carolina, New York, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Washington, according to the FDA. Two of the 14 cases involved hospitalization.
The J.M. Smucker Co. said it is cooperating with federal investigators to determine the appropriate next steps and will reimburse any customer who purchased recalled product.
“We apologize for the concern this will create,” the company wrote in an unsigned statement. “Please know our number one priority is to deliver safe, quality products to our consumers. When there is any potential issue we act swiftly, as we have in this instance.”
A Smucker spokesman added that the company believes it has properly defined the scope of the recall and that the firm’s other brands are not affected.
The FDA’s announcement states that the salmonella strain showing up in this outbreak matches a sample the agency took at the J.M. Smucker factory in 2010. Press representatives from both J.M. Smucker and the FDA did not answer specific questions about the 2010 sample.
Salmonella is a bacterium that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections, particularly in children, the elderly or people with compromised immune system.
Otherwise healthy people who become infected typically experience such symptoms as fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In rare, more serious cases, the bacteria can get into the bloodstream and lead to an arterial infection, according to the FDA.
The agency said no one should eat, sell or serve any Jif peanut butter with lot codes between 1274425 and 2140425. The company also said any surface or utensil that might have touched the peanut butter should be sanitized.
You can determine whether your peanut butter is covered under the recall by checking the product codes listed on the company’s announcement at fda.gov.
It’s not the first time a major peanut butter brand has been linked to a multistate salmonella outbreak. In 2006 and 2007, more than 600 people were infected with a strain of salmonella that the Centers for Disease Control linked to Peter Pan and Great Value peanut butter, according a June 2007 CDC advisory.