The JM Smucker company has withdrawn several Jeff Peanut Butter products sold in the United States and Canada due to possible Salmonella contamination, which federal regulators say is linked to 14 illnesses.
In a statement posted Friday on the Federal Food and Drug Administration’s website, the company urged consumers who bought potentially contaminated products to dispose of them immediately.
The products listed include a wide variety of creamy, crunchy, low-fat and natural peanut butter products, as well as a 40-ounce jar of natural honey.
The Smacker Company said it was coordinating with the FDA to “thoroughly investigate” the withdrawn items being sold nationwide.
Salmonella is a bacterium that can grow in food and cause fever, diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal pain while eating. Infections can be more serious and potentially fatal in young children, the elderly or those with weakened immune systems.
The FDA says cases of salmonella associated with peanut butter have been reported in a dozen states as of Sunday. Two people have been hospitalized, it said.
The agency said epidemiological evidence suggests that Giff brand peanut butter, produced at the Smacker facility in Lexington, Kai, was “a possible cause of the outbreak.”
Withdrawal affects GIF brand peanut butter products with lot code numbers 1274425 to 2140425, ending with 425. Lot numbers are included with the best-if-used-date.
Each month, the FDA announces the withdrawal of several products – some due to cross-contamination with allergens, others due to “foreign ingredients”, such as metals, found in food, and sometimes due to bacterial contamination.
In October, hundreds of people across the United States fell ill with salmonella outbreaks associated with imported red, white and yellow onions. Last summer, 31 people fell ill after eating hydroponic lettuce.