According to U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) documents, there have been hundreds of complaints concerning illnesses linked to Jif peanut butter and a Salmonella infection outbreak. The FDA records, collected by Phyllis Entis with eFoodAlert, show that the FDA has received more than 300 consumer complaints concerning illnesses caused by contaminated Jif peanut butter. The outbreak has been linked to Jif’s production plant in Lexington, Kentucky. The complaints to the FDA began in mid-February, and illness reports are continuing to be received by the FDA.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported another 21 cases from 17 states. The CDC stated that all of the patients who were ill said they were eating Jif peanut butter. The Jif trademark is owned by the J.M. Smucker Company.
On May 20, the J.M. Smucker Company issued a recall of nearly 10 million cases of Jif peanut butter products. These products were distributed throughout the United States, and all of the recalled products were manufactured at the plant located in Lexington, Kentucky. Moreover, there were dozens of other companies who issued recalls because they used the affected Jif products in their products.
The FDA said there were issues with at least two peanut roasters at the manufacturing plant. The FDA released this statement:
“On 2/17-18/22, you identified a breach in the (redacted) systems, which contaminated the (redacted) roasters (redacted) and (redacted). Based on your investigation, the breach was determined to be an approximately 1-inch opening in the (redacted) gasket and had existed since the installations of roasters (redacted) and (redacted).”
“Peanut butter produced using roasters (redacted) and (redacted) had been distributed since November 2021. You did not take any measures to alert consumers and/or recall the contaminated peanut butter distributed between December 2021 and February 2022. Additionally, you did not report this event to the FDA’s Reportable Food Registry.”
One of the most significant concerns right now is that many consumers may still have recalled peanut butter products in their homes due to peanut butter’s long shelf life. If you or a member of your family consumed Jif peanut butter and have symptoms of a Salmonella infection, review the codes on the peanut butter product with those on the FDA list of recalled peanut butter products.
Food that has been contaminated with Salmonella bacteria will not smell, look, or taste spoiled. Seniors, infants, children, and people who have weakened immune systems are at a greater risk of developing severe illnesses due to their weakened immune systems. People who have eaten Jif products and developed Salmonella symptoms should obtain medical attention as soon as possible. People who feel sick should tell their treating physician about the potential exposure to Salmonella bacteria since special tests are required to diagnose salmonellosis properly. Salmonella infection symptoms also mimic other illnesses, leading to misdiagnosis.
The symptoms of a Salmonella infection include abdominal cramps, diarrhea, and fever within 12 to 72 hours after consuming the contaminated food. Healthy adults are typically sick for four to seven days. However, diarrhea can be so intense that patients need hospitalization.
Children, older adults, pregnant women, and people who have weakened immune systems, such as cancer patients, are more likely to develop life-threatening medical conditions. In some cases, people can be infected without suffering any symptoms, and they can spread the infections to others.
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