Trader Joe's has announced that it is recalling several types of peanut butter and almond butter in response to what the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced is calling a "fast-moving outbreak" of salmonella-caused sickness in at least 19 states. No sicknesses have been reported in Iowa.
The closest Trader Joe's to Waukee is located at 305 Mills Civic Parkway in West Des Moines, but other brands are involved.
Overall, the recall list includes several well-known brands and a variety of peanut butter products as well as almond butter, cashew butter, tahini, and roasted blanched peanut products. This random list indicates the range:
- Archer Farms Creamy Peanut Butter
- Fresh & Easy Creamy Peanut Butter Cups
- Harry & David Creamy Caramel Peanut Spread
- Kirkland Organic Creamy Peanut Butter
- Peanut Butter Newman-O’s Sandwich Crème Cookies
- Sunland Organic Thai Ginger Peanut Butter
- Talenti Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Gelato
- Trader Joe's Creamy Salted Valencia Peanut Butter
- Whole Foods Treasure Trove Mix (bulk foods)
- Yogurtland Dark Roast Peanut Butter with Flax
Not every container of the products in the list above or the much longer lists available from the FDA and from Sunland is affected. It depends on the batch, as shown by the UPC or SKU numbers. Those numbers can be found on the recall lists and on product containers.
The recall affects products made at the Sunland facility in Portales, New Mexico, between March 1, 2010 and September 24, 2012, the FDA said.
Sunland has established a 24-hour, toll-free line that customers can use to contact the company for information about the recall: 1-866-837-1018.
The outbreak strain – Salmonella Bredeney – was identified by the Washington State Department of Agriculture laboratory in a jar of Trader Joe’s Valencia Creamy Peanut Butter collected from the home of one of 35 patients reported infected so far, the FDA said.
Trader Joe's has posted a notice to customers about the recall on its website.
The voluntary recalls are being conducted by the companies involved.
The recall effort began Sept. 23 when the FDA and the federal Centers for Disease Control briefed Sunland on their findings. On the evening of the next day, Sept. 24, Sunland expanded the recall to about 100 products, the FDA said. The company expanded the list to 240 this week.
"Consumers should not eat the recalled products," the FDA said. "This is especially important for children under the age of 5 years, elderly adults, and people with weak immune systems."
Symptoms of salmonella infection include diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps occurring 12-72 hours after infection, with the illness usually lasting between four and seven days, according to the FDA. Most people recover without treatment, but some patients can develop severe complications.
Customers with affected products within the current shelf life, or "Best-if-used-by" dates, should return them to wherever they were purchased for a refund or discard them, the FDA said. Those past their shelf life should be discarded.
The FDA and CDC are continuing their investigations with cooperation from several state health departments.