The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, along with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and others have been investigating a multistate outbreak of salmonella senftenberg infections and they are linked to a product so many of us enjoy daily.
In this case, the salmonella outbreaks are linked to certain Jif peanut butter products produced at the J.M. Smucker Company facility in Lexington, Kentucky, and distributed nationally, according to a recall alert posted by the FDA on May 20.
The CDC’s review of epidemiological information indicated that five people who were infected said they had eaten peanut butter and four of the five specifically reported that they ate different varieties of Jif brand peanut butter before they got sick, the CDC said.
The FDA had previously conducted a Whole Genome Sequencing analysis on a sample collected at the Lexington J.M. Smucker facility in 2010. The FDA’s recent analysis showed that this 2010 environmental sample matches the strain causing illnesses in this current outbreak.
“Epidemiologic evidence indicates that Jif brand peanut butter produced in the J.M. Smucker Company facility located in Lexington, Kentucky, is the likely cause of illnesses in this outbreak,” the FDA reported.
J.M. Smucker Company voluntarily recalled certain Jif brand peanut butter products that have lot code numbers between 1274425 and 2140425 that were manufactured in Lexington.
What is salmonella?
Salmonella are a group of bacteria that can cause gastrointestinal illness and fever, according to the FDA.. Salmonella can be spread by food handlers who do not properly wash their hands and/or the surfaces and tools they use. Salmonella can also affect people who eat raw or undercooked foods.
Symptoms of salmonella include diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps. More severe cases of salmonellosis can include a high fever, body aches, headaches, lethargy, a rash, blood in the urine or stool and in some cases may be fatal.