Better double-check your PB&J! Multiple state departments of health -- including Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts -- have released warnings citing Trader Joe's Valencia Creamy Salted Peanut Butter -- as well as the company's other peanut butter products -- as possible culprits behind a Salmonella S. Bredeny outbreak. So far, 29 illnesses -- potentially linked to the PB -- have been reported nationwide. That includes at least two in Pennsylvania, three in Massachusetts, and one each in New York, Maryland, and Rhode Island. Definitely disconcerting news if you purchase your PB from Trader Joe's!
The good news: The state departments of health are each working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to pinpoint the cause of the illnesses.
As for what you can do in the meantime ...
Thankfully, Trader Joe's has voluntarily removed the product from its stores, but they're warning consumers who have it on their shelves to discard it. Another issue making matters a bit more complicated: The PB in question is sold online through other retail outlets. So, of course, officials are warning consumers to use caution if you bought it or plan to buy it online.
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Trader Joe's shares that the SKU# on the worrisome PB is 97111. According to Rhode Island officials, the jars show "use by" dates between May 23, 2013 and June 28, 2013. Yeesh! I really hope that doesn't mean these affected containers of PB end up hanging around, because retailers other than Trader Joe's and consumers they're just fine and dandy!
Hopefully, being that this is the second Trader Joe's product recall in the past three months, the company will consider whether or not they might need a more rigorous inspection process for their foods. I know other peanut butter brands have fallen victim to Salmonella contamination. But Joe's is an grocery chain geared toward health-conscious consumers. The last thing they need is to worry that their "better-for-you" Trader Joe's goodies are actually going to make them sick.
Do you shop at Trader Joe's? Does this recall concern you?
Image via Christian Cable/Flickr