On Monday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced they are investigating an outbreak of salmonella infections tied to Jif brand peanut butter in the US.
At least 14 people in 12 states have been sickened by the outbreak. Five people reported eating peanut butter before getting sick, and four of those five specified eating Jif. The median age of those reporting illness is 56, though the CDC notes that it can take weeks to link an illness to an outbreak, so there may be additional cases that aren’t yet identified.
Is your state linked to an outbreak?
Since these Jif products were distributed nationwide, the recall is not restricted to states where people are already sick. However, there are currently 12 states reporting Jif-related salmonella infections:
- New York
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
How can you identify recalled peanut butter?
The FDA has released a full list of recalled Jif products. If you have recalled Jif peanut butter in your home, you can identify it by the product’s lot code, which appears alongside the “best if used by” date on the packaging.
Follow these steps to determine if your peanut butter is potentially unsafe:
- Check if you have Jif-brand peanut butter in your home.
- If you do, locate the lot code on the back of the jar, under the Best If Used By Date (the lot code may be next to the Best If Used By Date for cups or squeeze pouches).
- In the lot code, if the first four digits are between 1274 and 2140 and if the next three numbers after that are “425,” this product has been recalled and you should not consume it.
The numerals “425” in the lot codes indicate the Jif peanut butter was produced at a J.M. Smucker Co. facility in Lexington, Kentucky. This facility has been identified as the likely source of the outbreak.
What are the signs of a salmonella infection?
An infection caused by salmonella bacteria is called salmonellosis, and food is the culprit in most associated illnesses. Typical symptoms of salmonellosis include fever, stomach cramps, and diarrhea.
While most people recover from a salmonella infection on their own without needing treatment, the CDC notes that adults who are 65+, children under five, and immuno-compromised people are at risk of more severe infection. If symptoms persist, consult your doctor.
The CDC and FDA recommend throwing away recalled Jif products and sanitizing any surfaces or utensils the peanut butter may have come into contact with.
Can you get a refund?
Some grocers and retailers have promised to provide customers with a refund directly in store. Places like Costco, Publix, Giant, Food Lion, and Meijer are directing people to dispose of their product and seek a refund in person. Just make sure you take a photo of your contaminated peanut butter before throwing it away, in case you need proof of your product purchase.
You can also contact the company directly. Reach a J.M. Smucker Co. representative by calling 800-828-9980 on Monday to Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET, or fill out your contact information via Jif’s online form.