June 9, 2022 | Susan Napier-Sewell

Peanut Butter Recall Causes Domino Effect Amid Salmonella Investigation

peanut butter

Peanut butter-related recalls keep on rolling as Salmonella outbreak investigation continues.

From peanut butter cups to chicken salad, recalls caused by J.M. Smucker Co.’s peanut butter recall keep coming.

Peanut butter is a product uniquely positioned to cause a cascade of secondary recalls.

Businesses use the recalled peanut butter to make chocolate products, sandwiches, snack packs, fudge, dog treats and more.

Small businesses have also been impacted. My wife used to work at a small “ma and pa” chocolate and fudge shop. She made runs to her grocery store regularly to restock the peanut butter supply. Without a step in the fudge or chocolate-making process to kill pathogens, businesses like these and their customers must rely on the safety of the peanut butter on the grocery store shelves.

When it comes to the J.M. Smucker Co.’s peanut butter recall, many businesses already had secondary products out on shelves, purchased, or worse, consumed.

Since the initial J.M. Smucker Co. peanut butter recall on May 20, the FDA has posted 16 recalls from various companies because of the contaminated peanut butter. Officials anticipate more.

In 2009, Peanut Corp of America (PCA) initiated a recall of their peanut butter products after a link was discovered between their products and an outbreak caused by Salmonella Typhimurium. This recall became the most expensive food recall in U.S. history and resulted in nearly 4,000 downstream products being recalled by 361 companies. 

Illnesseses related to the PCA outbreak were first discovered in late 2008, and they continued to appear through April 2009, when the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s last report on the outbreak was published. A total of 714 people were sickened, with 171 hospitalized. Nine people died.

History tells us that these outbreaks take time to fully reveal themselves. 

The current CDC investigation of the Salmonella outbreak connected to J.M. Smucker Co.’s Jif peanut butter has revealed 16 illnesses in 12 states. So far 2 people have been hospitalized and no deaths have been reported.

It remains to be seen if this salmonella outbreak reaches anywhere near the same numbers as the 2008-2009 Salmonella Typhimurium outbreak. 

Below you can find a partial list of recalls of food products associated with peanut butter from J.M. Smucker Co.

Recalls:

DateBrand Name(s)Product DescriptionCompany NameFDA Enforcement Report
05/28/2022Giant EagleBaked items containing peanut butterGiant Eagle
05/28/2022Quick ChekApple and Peanut Butter Snack TraysSafeway Fresh Foods
05/27/2022Rich’sPeanut butter cupsAlbanese Confectionery Group, Inc.
05/27/2022Multiple brand namesSnack Packs and SandwichesA G Specialty Foods
05/26/2022Jack & Olive and Created Fresh!Egg and Cheese Curds snack and power boxesBix Produce Company
05/26/2022Euphoria ChocolateChocolate candyEuphoria Chocolate Company
05/25/2022Walmart and FudgeamentalsFudgeFudgeamentals
05/25/2022Multiple brand namesFresh cut fruit and vegetable productsDel Monte
05/24/2022Multiple brand namesStore-prepared items containing peanut butterAlbertsons Companies
05/24/2022Coblentz Chocolate CompanyVarious chocolate products containing peanut butterCoblentz Chocolate Company
05/24/2022Mary’s HarvestCelery and Apple Peanut Butter CupsMary’s Harvest Fresh Foods Inc.
05/24/2022Garden CutApple Wedges and Celery Bites with Peanut ButterGarden Cut, LLC
05/24/2022Fresh SeasonsPower PacksTAHER, INC
05/24/2022Multiple brand namesFresh Cut Fruit Snack Trays and Fruit Snack CupsCountry Fresh
05/23/2022WilburMultiple Chocolate ProductsCargill
05/21/2022WawaApple & Peanut Butter DipperWawa

About Salmonella infections

Food contaminated with Salmonella bacteria does not usually look, smell, or taste spoiled. Anyone can become sick with a Salmonella infection. Infants, children, seniors, and people with weakened immune systems are at higher risk of serious illness because their immune systems are fragile, according to the CDC.

Anyone who has eaten any of the recalled products and developed symptoms of Salmonella infection should seek medical attention. Sick people should tell their doctors about the possible exposure to Salmonella bacteria because special tests are necessary to diagnose salmonellosis. Salmonella infection symptoms can mimic other illnesses, frequently leading to misdiagnosis.

Symptoms of Salmonella infection can include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever within 12 to 72 hours after eating contaminated food. Otherwise, healthy adults are usually sick for four to seven days. In some cases, however, diarrhea may be so severe that patients require hospitalization.

Older adults, children, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems, such as cancer patients, are more likely to develop a severe illness and serious, sometimes life-threatening conditions.

Some people get infected without getting sick or showing any symptoms. However, they may still spread the infections to others.

Content source: Food Safety News, “Peanut butter related recalls keep on rolling as Salmonella outbreak investigation continues,” by Jonan Pilet on June 6, 2022.

Image source: Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay.

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