The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Tuesday December 7th

Salmonella case causes Trader Joe's peanut butter recall

There's been a salmonella outbreak in Trader Joe's peanut butter; however, no cases are known in Chapel Hill and our local Trader Joe's has already replaced their stock. Customers who purchased a potentially infected jar prior to the news have been reimbursed with a coupon for a safe jar.
Buy Photos There's been a salmonella outbreak in Trader Joe's peanut butter; however, no cases are known in Chapel Hill and our local Trader Joe's has already replaced their stock. Customers who purchased a potentially infected jar prior to the news have been reimbursed with a coupon for a safe jar.

A North Carolina child is one of about 30 people nationwide who have been infected by salmonella in a recent outbreak linked to Trader Joe’s, a national chain of grocery stores.

Chapel Hill’s Trader Joe’s, along with the store’s other U.S. locations, recalled Trader Joe’s Creamy Salted Valencia Peanut Butter on Saturday, a Sunland Inc. product that is possibly linked to the outbreak.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are still investigating the cause of the outbreak. Nineteen states have reported cases so far.

Katalin Coburn, spokeswoman at Sunland Inc., said the recall process started Friday when the FDA and CDC informed the company that the peanut butter had been linked to cases of Salmonella.

Twelve of the 14 infected people interviewed by the CDC reported having eaten the Trader Joe’s peanut butter in the week before becoming ill.

Children younger than 10 account for 63 percent of the 30 reported cases, four of which have led to hospitalization.

People infected with Salmonella can see symptoms such as diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps. Most people do not need treatment.

Coburn said this strain, known as salmonella bredeney, is very rare.
“The particular strain … is particularly cunning and extremely difficult to really detect,” Coburn said.

Sunland Inc. is working hand-in-hand with the FDA and the CDC in the investigation.

About 75 of the company’s other almond butter and peanut butter products have been recalled in stores nationwide.

The recall is a precautionary measure because the products were all manufactured at the same New Mexico location. None of the other products have been linked to the outbreak.

Julie Henry, spokeswoman for the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, said people can get salmonella from many different places, typically through under-cooked poultry, ground beef and eggs.

“We have salmonella all the time in North Carolina,” she said. “Most of the time, the outbreaks in North Carolina are due to cross-contamination.”

Henry said the last large-scale salmonella outbreak in the state was in Asheville in April, where at least 34 people were infected.

Smiling Hara Tempeh, located in Asheville, recalled its soybean tempeh after it was linked to Asheville’s outbreak, which was caused by cross-contamination.

But Coburn said the Sunland factory’s condition means cross-contamination is likely not a cause in this recent outbreak.

Durham resident Sandy Smith-Nonini said she is concerned about becoming a victim of this outbreak or one in the future.

“I know the corporations respond and take it off the shelves,” Smith-Nonini said. “But I guess the question that lingers in my mind is, you know, when’s the next time — and when will I end up being a victim of this sort of thing?”

Contact the desk editor at
city@dailytarheel.com.

To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.



Comments

The Daily Tar Heel for December 1, 2021

Special Print Edition

Games & Horoscopes

Print Edition Games Archive