Food & Drink

Peanut Butter Product Recall Expanded Beyond Jif Due To 12-State Salmonella Outbreak

Well, that recall expanded in a Jif, so to speak. Just three days after J.M. Smucker Company had voluntarily recalled certain lots of their Jif brand peanut butter products due to a Salmonella Senftenberg outbreak, Cargill joined the peanut butter gallery and issued their own recall of peanut buttery products. On May 23, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that Cargill was recalling select lots of their Milk and Dark Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Ritz Crackers, Peanut Butter Meltaways, and Peanut Butter Eggs and Fudge. What did these products have in common? Alas, they all contained the Jif peanut butter that was recalled on May 20.

On May 21, Vicky Forster, PhD, covered for Forbes the original Jif recall. That same day, an announcement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had indicated that the Salmonella Senftenberg outbreak had already left at least 14 people sick and 2 hospitalized across 12 different states. Those are probably underestimates of the actual numbers, since people often suffer Salmonella symptoms in relative silence. After all, it may not be common for folks to announce at work, at a party, or on a date, “ladies and gentlemen, I now have bloody diarrhea. Batten down the hatches.” Here’s a tweet from the CDC about the outbreak from May 21:

Public health officials identified Jif peanut butter as the likely culprit due to a match. Not a Bumble or Tinder match. But a match between the Salmonella strain causing the outbreak and the one found by the FDA’s Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) analysis of samples taken from J.M. Smucker’s Lexington, Kentucky, facility back in 2010.

Naturally, no one should want a Salmonella sandwich or a Salmonella Meltaway, unless you happen to really enjoy four to seven days of fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. While most people end up fully recovering from the illness, ingesting Salmonella has the potential of leaving you with much more than just toilet trouble. In some cases, a Salmonella infection can progress to even more severe and potentially life-threatening conditions, especially if you are a young child, an older adult, or otherwise have a weakened immune system, as I’ve described before for Forbes.

Now, just because you have some Jif in your cabinet, fridge, or fanny pack doesn’t necessarily mean that you should return or discard it. The J.M. Smuckers Jif recall encompassed only those products that have lot code numbers from “1274425” to “2140425”, and only if the first seven digits end with “425” with the product being manufactured in Lexington, Kentucky. If you do find a product that matches this description, do not eat it or smear it all over your body. Instead, return the product for a refund or throw it away. You can fill out the Jif Recall Contact Form as indicated by the following tweet:

If you do have two, three, or say 150 jars of peanut butter affected by the recall, the form does allow you to select the quantity of products that you are reporting:

Oh, and if you have already discarded the peanut butter, you can still get a refund:

Keep in mind that Jif peanut butter products can have very long shelf lives, so check your refrigerator, your cabinets, your suitcases, your underwear drawer, your drawers that are underwear, and under your bed for any Jif peanut butter products to make sure they aren’t part of the recalled lots. Also, if you are indeed storing Jif peanut butter products in your underwear or under your bed, ask yourself why you are doing so.

Similarly, get rid of or return any products that may be part of the Cargill recall. This latest recall involved 795 products that came in eight-ounce boxes and were sold at the Wilbur Chocolate store in Lititz, Pennsylvania. and online at Wilburbuds.com between February 9, 2022 and March 28, 2022. The FDA announcement indicated that the following info can be used to identify the affected products:

  • K119D Dark Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Eggs – 8 oz. Box{ Lot 220216AC, Best if Used by Date of 5/16/2022
  • K119M Milk Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Eggs – 8 oz. Box: Lot 220216AF, Best if Used by Date of 5/16/2022
  • K120D Dark Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Meltaways – 8 oz Box: Lot 220224AA, Best if Used by Date of 4/24/2022; Lot 220219AB, Best if Used by Date of 4/19/2022; Lot 220215AC, Best if Used by Date of 4/15/2022
  • K120M Milk Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Meltaways – 8 oz. Box: Lot 220222AA with Best if Used by Date of 4/22/2022; Lot 220218AG with Best if Used by Date of 4/18/2022; Lot 220215AE with Best if Used by Date of 4/15/2022
  • K121M Milk Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Ritz® Crackers – 8pc. 8 oz. Box: Lot 220302AF with Best if Used by Date of 6/2/2022; Lot 220216AJ with Best if Used by Date of 5/16/2022; Lot 220209AF with Best if Used by Date of 5/9/2022
  • K508 Peanut Butter and Chocolate Fudge – 8 oz. Box: Lot 220219AF with Best if Used by Date of 4/19/2022
  • K509 Peanut Butter Fudge – 8 oz. Box: Lot 220219AC with Best if Used by Date of 4/19/2022

So far there have been no reports of illnesses from the consumption of these Cargill products. Keep in mind that the recall doesn’t affect other Cargill products.

When discarding or returning any of the aforementioned products, make sure you do so in a way that doesn’t contaminate other things or leave the products accessible by other people or your pets. Feeding them to your roommate would not be an appropriate way to get rid of the products. Thoroughly clean any table tops, containers, storage locations, body parts, clothes, pillow cases, underwear, anvils, or life-sized Harry Styles figurines that may have touched any of the recalled peanut butter products. Don’t risk ending up in a jam from eating anything that may include contaminated Jif peanut butter. After all, it’s always peanut butter to be safe than sorry.


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