Jif’s Salmonella outbreak. What we know so far

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is investigating an outbreak of Salmonella Senftenberg infections believed to be linked to consumption of Jif peanut butter products.

Jif peanut butters are manufactured by The JM Smucker Co.

outbreak-salmonella-peanut-butter-cdc-case-count-mapThe fourteen confirmed cases are scattered across twelve US states, including Arkansas (1), Georgia (2), Illinois (1), Massachusetts (1), Missouri (1), New York (1), North Carolina (1), Ohio (1), South Carolina (1), Texas (2), Virginia (1), and Washington (1). Two of the victims have been hospitalized.

The first reported victim became ill on February 17, 2022.

Outbreak victims range in age from less than one year old to 85 years old. The median age is 56, and 71% of the victims are female.

Interviews conducted with five of the outbreak victims revealed that all five had consumed peanut butter prior to falling ill. Two of the five had eaten Jif Creamy Reduced Fat peanut butter, one person reported Jif Natural Creamy Low Sodium peanut butter, and one person reported Jif Natural Creamy peanut butter.

The CDC cautions that the true number of sick people in an outbreak such as this is likely much higher than the number reported, and the outbreak may not be limited to the states with known illnesses. 

According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the outbreak strain is closely related to a strain of Salmonella recovered in 2010 from an environmental sample in the Lexington, Kentucky, manufacturing plant where the implicated Jif peanut butter products are made.

A review of the FDA’s inspection database reveals that the Lexington facility was inspected on five separate occasions since 2009, including inspections in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2015, and 2018.

The 2010 and 2015 inspections were classified as Voluntary Action Indicated (VAI), meaning the inspector found deficiencies that needed to be corrected by the company. There is no list of the reported deficiencies in the database for either of the VAI inspections.

Recall status

jif-front-backThe JM Smucker Co. has recalled a long list of Jif products, covering all lot codes from 1274425 to 2140425, but only with the first seven digits ending in 425 (the identifier code for the Lexington production plant).

Recalled products were distributed across the United States and exported to Canada.

The company has issued a separate recall notice listing the products distributed in Canada.

In addition to being sold through retail stores and other outlets, peanut butter is often used as an ingredient in other products. Recalls of products containing Jif peanut butter have already begun.

For an up-to-date linked list of announced recall notices, please select the Jif/Smucker Recalls menu item at the top of the page.

CDC’s advice to consumers

  • Do not eat any recalled Jif brand peanut butter. Throw it away.
  • This product has a very long shelf life, so be sure to check any Jif peanut butter you have at home to make sure it has not been recalled.
  • Wash surfaces and containers that may have touched the recalled peanut butter using hot, soapy water.
  • Call your healthcare provider if you have one or more of these symptoms after eating recalled peanut butter:
    • Diarrhea and a fever higher than 102°F
    • Diarrhea for more than 3 days that is not improving
    • Bloody diarrhea
    • So much vomiting that you cannot keep liquids down
    • Signs of dehydration, such as:
      • Not peeing much
      • Dry mouth and throat
      • Feeling dizzy when standing up

CDC’s advice to businesses

  • Do not sell or serve recalled Jif brand peanut butter.
  • Wash and sanitize containers and surfaces that may have come in contact with recalled peanut butter.

Read more about previous outbreaks of Salmonella involving peanut butter in TAINTED. From Farm Gate to Dinner Plate, Fifty Years of Food Safety Failures, now available in digital, print and audiobook editions.

TAINTED formats 3
“Reads like a true crime novel” – Food Safety News

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