Health officials in several states, along with federal officials, are warning consumers one type of peanut butter sold at Trader Joe's is possibly contaminated with salmonella.
In response to the widespread concerns, Trader Joe's announced Friday that "out of an abundance of caution" all Creamy Salted Valencia Peanut Butter has been removed from store shelves everywhere, which would include at the Peabody location as well.
"We have no confirmed information that suggests this peanut butter is unsafe to eat, but there is nothing more important to us than the health and safety of our customers and crew, and the quality of our products. As such, if you purchased this product, please do not eat it. We encourage you to return the product to any Trader Joe's for a full refund or dispose of it," reads a company statement.
The particular batch of peanut butter was made with sea salt and use by dates of May 23, 2013 and June 28, 2013, and may be related to an outbreak across 18 states of salmonella bredeney infection, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
There have been 29 cases of illness, with three cases reported in Massachusetts and one illness in Rhode Island.
Health officials in both states are working with the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention and the FDA. Testing of peanut butter samples is underway at several state labs.
The FDA and CDC warn against eating the Creamy Salted Valencia Peanut Butter as a precaution and to take Trader Joe's up on its offer for a full refund.
"Once FDA became involved in this fast-moving outbreak investigation, we began coordinating and working closely with the CDC and several state health departments, which have been leading their own investigations," says the FDA in an advisory Saturday. "On September 20, FDA, the CDC and the state of California briefed Trader Joe’s on the status of the investigation, and the company agreed to remove the suspected product from their store shelves."
Symptoms of salmonella infection included diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps six to 72 hours after infection. The illness usually lasts two to seven days, and most people recover without treatment. However, in some cases, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient requires hospitalization.
Older adults, infants, and those with impaired immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness from salmonella infection.