Jif peanut butter products recalled over salmonella outbreak traced to Kentucky plant

Cases have been reported in 14 states

<p>Jif peanut butter is produced at a facility in Lexington, Kentucky </p>

Jif peanut butter is produced at a facility in Lexington, Kentucky

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A salmonella outbreak at a factory in Kentucky has led to nearly 50 different Jif peanut butter products being recalled across the United States and Canada.

Jif’s parent company JM Smucker Co said on Friday that it was recalling the products amid safety fears connected to the outbreak, which is currently being investigated by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

So far, 14 people in 12 states have been reported ill and two have been hospitalised, the FDA said. All five people who contacted the CDC  had consumed Jif peanut butter before becoming sick.

The FDA said the outbreak has been linked to the same strain of salmonella that was found in a sample taken at a  Lexington, Kentucky, facility where Jif peanut butter is produced.

“Epidemiologic evidence indicates that Jif brand peanut butter produced in the JM Smucker Company facility located in Lexington, KY, is the likely cause of illnesses in this outbreak,” the agency said.

Jif peanut butter products with lot codes ending 1274425 – 2140425 are those impacted, and can be found next to the “best if used by” date, the company said through the FDA.

Some of the products were shipped to Canada and customers and businesses in both countries should not consume, sell or serve the potentially contaminated peanut butter, according to the recall.

JM Smucker Co has told any affected customers to throw away the products, and anybody with potential symptoms should seek medical care.

Salmonella can cause fatal infections in young children, the elderly and others with weakened immune systems, the FDA’s statement said. Symptoms include diarrhoea, cramps, nausea and vomiting.

JM Smucker Co told The Independent in a statement: “This incident was isolated to our Lexington, KY, manufacturing facility, and does not impact our other peanut-butter-producing facilities. In addition, there is no impact to Smucker’s Uncrustables, Santa Cruz Organic or any other J.M. Smucker Co. Brand.”

“We are confident after our review of our records that we have identified the root cause and implemented comprehensive corrective actions to address the issue. In partnership with FDA and CFIA, we initiated a voluntary recall spanning the duration of the incident that we consider responsible for the issue and several additional months beyond this timeframe out of an abundance of caution.”

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