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TRADER JOE’S PEANUT BUTTER MAY BE LINKED TO SALMONELLA OUTBREAK, FDA WARNS




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September 22, 2012 (Washington D.C) – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration yesterday issued a warning advising consumers not to eat Trader Joe’s Valencia Creamy Salted Peanut Butter. The produce is possibly linked to an outbreak of Salmonella that has infected 29 people in 18 states. Consumers can return products to any Trader Joe’s grocery store for a full refund. 

Below is additional information from the FDA on symptoms of salmonella and what you should do if you believe you may have the potentially serious illness.

 

What is the Problem?

The FDA’s top priority is protecting consumers and ensuring the safety of our food supply. The FDA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local public health officials are investigating a multi-state outbreak of Salmonella Bredeney infections possibly linked to Trader Joe’s Valencia Creamy Salted Peanut Butter, with a Stock Keeping Unit (SKU) identifier of 97111. The CDC reports a total of 29 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Bredeney from 18 states.

Once the FDA became involved in this fast-moving outbreak investigation, we began coordinating and working closely with the CDC and several state health departments, which have been leading their own investigations. On September 20, the FDA, the CDC and the state of California briefed Trader Joe’s on the status of the investigation, and the company agreed to remove the suspected product from their store shelves. As we examine the information from the state investigations, we will make decisions on our next steps and keep the public informed.

Where was the peanut butter distributed?

This peanut butter is sold at Trader Joe's grocery stores nationwide and on the internet.

What is being done about the problem? 

The FDA, the CDC and state and local public health officials are investigating a multi-state outbreak of Salmonella Bredeney infections possibly linked to Trader Joe’s Valencia Creamy Salted Peanut Butter. The CDC reports a total of 29 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Bredeney from 18 states.

Once FDA became involved in this fast-moving outbreak investigation, we began coordinating and working closely with the CDC and several state health departments, which have been leading their own investigations. On September 20, FDA, the CDC and the state of California briefed Trader Joe’s on the status of the investigation, and the company agreed to remove the suspected product from their store shelves.

FDA’s top priority is protecting consumers and ensuring the safety of our food supply. We are engaged on this case and working closely with the CDC and state health departments around the country. As we examine the information from the state investigations, we will make decisions on our next steps and keep the public informed.

What are the symptoms of salmonellosis?

Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most people recover without treatment.

However, in some people, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. In these patients, the Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the blood stream, and then to other body sites and can cause death unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics.

Who is at risk? 

Children are the most likely to get salmonellosis. The rate of diagnosed infections in children less than five years old is higher than the rate in all other persons. Young children, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems are the most likely to have severe infections. It is estimated that approximately 400 persons die each year with acute salmonellosis.

What do consumers need to do?

The CDC recommends that consumers do not eat Trader Joe’s Valencia Creamy Salted Peanut Butter made with sea salt. This is especially important for children under the age of 5 years, elderly adults, and people with weak immune systems. 

Trader Joe's has encouraged consumers to return the product to any Trader Joe’s store for a full refund.

Who should be contacted?

Consumers who show any signs of illness from salmonellosis should consult their health care provider. The FDA encourages consumers with questions about food safety to call 1-888-SAFEFOOD or consult the fda.gov website.

For more information: 

FDA: FDA Investigates Multistate Outbreak of Salmonella Bredeney Infections Possibly Linked to Trader Joe's Valencia Creamy Salted Peanut Butter

CDC:  Salmonella

FoodSafety.gov: Salmonella

Trader Joe’s Customer Advisory