In May 2022, the J.M. Smucker Company voluntarily recalled certain Jif brand peanut butter products sold in the United States after a multistate Salmonella outbreak was linked to Jif peanut butter products. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that there have been fourteen Salmonella cases across twelve states that are linked to Jif peanut butter products manufactured at a factory in Lexington, Kentucky. Those Salmonella cases have led to two hospitalizations for more serious cases.
The FDA reported the investigation conducted by the FDA, CDC, state, and local partners revealed that of the sick individuals surveyed, all 5 had consumed peanut butter and 4 out of the 5 people (80%) reported consuming Jif peanut butter products before becoming sick. The outbreak followed the FDA’s genome sequencing analysis in 2010 conducted at the Lexington, Kentucky factory which produced a Salmonella sample that matches the strain causing illness in the current outbreak.
The recalled Jif peanut butter products have lot numbers between 1274425 and 2140425. Essentially, if a Jif peanut butter product’s lot number’s final digits are 425, this indicates the products were manufactured in the Lexington, Kentucky plant. The full list of Jif peanut butter products included in the recall can be found on here on the FDA’s website.
To combat the outbreak, the FDA has advised that consumers, restaurants, and retailers should not eat, sell, or serve any Jif peanut butter products. The FDA issued special instructions for consumers:
Check if you have any Jif peanut butter in your home
Locate the lot number on the back of the jar under the “Best If Used By” date
If the first four digits of the lot number are between 1274 and 2140 and the last three digits are 425, the product has been recalled and you should not consume it
What is Salmonella?
Salmonella is a bacterial organism that can cause serious and potentially fatal infections such as gastrointestinal illnesses in children younger than five years old, frail or elderly people, and individuals with weakened immune symptoms. Individuals who are exposed to Salmonella typically experience symptoms within 12 to 72 hours of exposure and the infection usually lasts four to seven days. Individuals who are infected with Salmonella often experience the following symptoms:
Aches and lethargy
Blood in urine or stool
In serious Salmonella infection cases, the infection can get into the bloodstream and produce more serious illnesses such as arterial infections, endocarditis, and arthritis. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that approximately 1.3 million Americans are infected with Salmonella each year which results in 26,500 hospitalizations and 450 deaths.
Jif Peanut Butter Lawsuit
After the multistate Salmonella outbreak linked to Jif’s peanut butter products, J.M. Smuckers now faces a lawsuit from customers who bought recalled Jif peanut butter products. The lawsuit was filed in Kentucky federal court and alleged J.M. Smucker was negligent in failing to warn the public about tainted products and continuing to sell them anyway.
John Kraljevich bought tainted Jif peanut butter in South Carolina that was later recalled and wants to represent the nationwide class and South Carolina subclass of customers who purchased recalled Jif products to seek damages.
A quote from the lawsuit explains the allegations: “Defendant [J.M. Smuckers] owed a duty to plaintiff, class members, and the consuming public to exercise reasonable care in its designing, marketing, supplying, packaging, promoting and selling Jif peanut butter products, including the duty to prevent Salmonella contamination of the Jif peanut butter products. Defendant also owed a duty to plaintiff, class members, and the consuming public to manufacture, distribute, and sell Jif peanut butter products that are safe and fit for human consumption, meaning without Salmonella.”
Jif Peanut Butter Recall Causes Chain of Recalls
The Jif peanut butter recalls extend beyond J.M. Smuckers recall. Multiple other companies have issued recalls because their products contain Jif peanut butter. These include:
Walmart and Fudgeamentals’ fudge products
Fresh Del Monte’s fresh-cut fruit and vegetable products
Albertsons Companies’ store-prepared items containing peanut butter
Many of Coblentz Chocolate Company’s chocolate products that contain peanut butter
Mary’s Harvest Fresh Foods, Inc.’s celery and apple peanut butter cups
Garden Cut, LLC’s apple wedges and celery bites that come with peanut butter
Taher, Inc.’s Fresh Seasons Power Packs
Country Fresh’s fresh-cut fruit snack trays and fruit snack cups
Many of Cargill’s chocolate products under the Wilbur brand names
Wawa’s apple and peanut butter dippers
Walmart and Fudgeamentals
Fudgeamentals of Melville, New York announced a voluntary recall of their products that are commonly sold at Walmart stores. The recall pertains to their fudge that was made with Jif peanut butter and sold in 8 oz. and 16 oz. plastic containers.
Fresh Del Monte
Fresh Del Monte announced a voluntary recall of select fresh-cut fruit and vegetable products that contain “ready-to-eat” Jif peanut butter dip. The specific products include Del Monte apples with peanut butter, peanut butter snack packs, apples, and peanut butter packs, and sandwiches with peanut butter cups.
Albertsons Companies announced a voluntary recall of products containing Jif peanut butter. The recall includes eleven products that are made in-store at stores including ACME, Albertsons, Eagle, Jewel-Osco, Safeway, Tom Thumb, and Vons. The products were sold in almost every U.S. state and in Mexico.
Coblenz Chocolate Company
Coblenz Chocolate Company of Walnut Creek, Ohio announced a voluntary recall of select peanut butter products in response to the Jif peanut butter recall because of possible Salmonella contamination. The recall includes products sold between November 12, 2021, and May 21, 2022, with lot numbers 1315 through 2140. The specific products include:
Peanut Butter Spread
Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup
Grahama Peanut Butter Sandwich
Ritz Peanut Butter Sandwich
Oversized Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup
Peanut Butter Fudge
Oversized Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup
Oversized Peanut Butter Pretzel Cluster
Peanut Butter Truffle
Chocolate Peanut Butter Caramel Corn
The 4oz, 8oz, 16oz, and 32oz deluxe assortment of gift boxes
The 8oz and 16oz assorted creams
Mary’s Harvest Fresh Foods, Inc.
Mary’s Harvest Fresh Foods, Inc. announced a voluntary recall of their celery peanut butter cup and apple peanut butter cup products that were distributed in Oregon and Washington due to the Jif peanut butter recall.
Garden Cut, LLC
Garden Cut, LLC voluntarily recalled snack cups that contain Jif peanut butter. The recalled products include the sweet apple wedges with peanut butter, tart apple wedges with peanut butter, and celery bites with peanut butter. The products that are potentially contaminated were distributed in Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
Taher, Inc. of Plymouth, Minnesota announced a voluntary recall of 6.3 oz. Fresh Seasons Power Packs because they contain Jif peanut butter that could be contaminated with Salmonella. The products were distributed in Minnesota and western Wisconsin in retail stores and vending machines.
Country Fresh issued a voluntary recall of fresh-cut fruit snack trays and fruit snack cups that contained Jif peanut butter. The products were distributed in the following states: Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, D.C., and West Virginia.
Cargill issued a voluntary recall of several products under the Wilbur brand name in response to the Jif peanut butter recall. In total, the recall contained 795 8 oz. boxes of products that contained Jif peanut butter. The products included milk and dark chocolate covered peanut butter Ritz crackers, peanut butter meltaways, peanut butter eggs and fudge that was sold locally through Wilbur Chocolate Retail store in Litiz, Pennsylvania, and online.
Wawa announced a voluntary recall of Wawa apple and peanut butter dipper in 4.9 oz. packages and Jif creamy peanut butter in 16 oz. containers in response to the Jif peanut butter recalls.
How GoldenbergLaw Can HelpIf you or a loved one suffered from a Salmonella infection after consuming Jif peanut butter or a product containing Jif peanut butter discussed in this article, reach out to our Minneapolis Contaminated Food Attorneys today. The Food Safety Attorneys at GoldenbergLaw have helped clients for more than 35 years get justice. Contact us today to see how our team can help you!