The Michigan Departments of Community Health (MDCH) and Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) are advising Michigan consumers that Trader Joe’s Valencia Creamy Peanut Butter made with sea salt and a variety of almond butter and peanut butter products from Sunland Inc. are possibly linked to a multistate bacterial outbreak of Salmonella Bredeney. As of Sept. 22, a total of 29 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Bredeney have been reported in 18 states, including one child in southeast Michigan.
MDCH and MDARD are working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and other state and local public health partners on this continuing investigation. Illness onset dates range from June 11 to Sept. 2. The age range of ill individuals is less than 1 year to 77, with 76 percent of all cases being under the age of 18. Roughly 36 percent reported being hospitalized.
On Sept. 22, Trader Joe’s issued a nationwide recall of the product which can be found online at http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm320579.htm Prior to the recall, Trader Joe’s removed the peanut butter product from its shelves. The product comes in a 16 ounce, plastic jar and was sold in Trader Joe’s stores nationwide as well as on the Internet. Testing of the product is under way. Customers with questions may contact Trader Joe’s Customer Relations at (626) 599-3817 Monday through Friday, 7 am to 5 pm Pacific Time.
In addition, on Sept. 24, Sunland Inc. voluntarily recalled a number of different brands and varieties of almond butter and peanut butter products. Michigan residents are advised to check the Sunland Inc. recall online at http://www.sunlandinc.com/788/html/pdfs/SunlandRecall.pdf which contains a list of products, the UPC codes, and best-if-used-by dates. Consumers can contact Sunland Inc. at (866) 837-1018, which is operational 24 hours a day, for information on the recall.
Most individuals infected with Salmonella bacteria often experience diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12-72 hours after infection. The duration of illness is typically 4-7 days and most people recover without treatment. Sometimes a Salmonella infection can be more severe and may spread to the bloodstream, resulting in hospitalization. Young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness from Salmonella infection.
Recommendations for the Public
• Consumers are advised to discard any Trader Joe Valencia Peanut Butter made with sea salt or return the product to any Trader Joe’s store for a full refund.
• Consumers who have purchased Sunland's Almond Butter and Peanut Butter products with the UPC and best-if-used-by-dates in the recall are advised to discard the product.
• Anyone who recently purchased any of the products included in the recalls who became ill with diarrhea or vomiting should consult their physician.
The Food and Drug Administration encourages consumers with questions about food safety to call 1-888-SAFEFOOD or consult the www.fda.gov website. For more information about the evolving CDC investigation, please visit: http://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/bredeney-09-12/index.html.