From Our 2012 Archives
Trader Joe's Peanut Butter Recalled Nationwide
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Salmonella Outbreak Traced to Trader Joe's, Archer Farms, Sunland, Other Peanut Butters
By Daniel J. DeNoon
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD
Sept. 24, 2012 -- An ongoing salmonella outbreak first traced to peanut butter sold at Trader Joe's stores now has expanded to include peanut and almond butters sold at Target and other stores.
Trader Joe's Creamy Salted Valencia Peanut Butter comes from Sunland Inc. in Portales, N.M. Sunland now has recalled all of its peanut butter and almond butter products made from May 1 to Sept. 24.
The outbreak so far has sickened 29 people in 18 states. Four people needed hospitalization. No deaths have been reported. Those sickened in the outbreak range in age from 1 to 77. Half the cases are in children 7 and younger; three-fourths of cases are under age 18.
The products were sold nationwide, both in stores and online.
CDC, state, and local officials had been looking for the source of an outbreak of Salmonella Bredeney infections that began on June 11. The investigation suggests that people became ill after eating Trader Joe's Creamy Salted Valencia Peanut Butter.
All 14 ill people interviewed so far report shopping at Trader Joe's locations across the U.S. Twelve of these 14 people report eating Trader Joe's Creamy Salted Valencia Peanut Butter made with sea salt in the week before becoming ill.
Illnesses were reported in Washington, California, Arizona, Texas, Louisiana, Missouri, Illinois, Minnesota, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, North Carolina, Virginia, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Maryland.
The recalled Sunland products include:
Children under 5, older adults, and people with weak immune systems are particularly vulnerable to salmonella food poisoning.
Symptoms of salmonella, for most people, include diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps some 12 to 72 hours after eating contaminated food. After four to seven days, most people recover without treatment.
Some people develop severe diarrhea and need hospital care. Rarely, salmonella bacteria escape the gut and enter the blood, where they spread to other parts of the body. Such infections can be fatal if not treated promptly with antibiotics.
SOURCES: News release, FDA. CDC web site: "Multistate Outbreak of Salmonella Bredeney Infections." Trader Joe's web site. Sunland Inc. web site.
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