- A large cereal manufacturer has voluntarily ceased sales of its peanut butter crackers amidst a salmonella outbreak tied to peanut butter.
- The affected products include various types of sandwich crackers with peanut butter filling.
- Officials have reported an increase in salmonella cases and potential related deaths across multiple states.
- The source of the outbreak is believed to be a supplier’s bulk peanut butter, which tested positive for the Salmonella Typhimurium strain.
- This situation echoes a past recall two years ago, where another popular peanut butter brand was associated with a multistate salmonella outbreak.
A large cereal manufacturer has requested that retailers temporarily stop selling its popular line of peanut butter crackers. This move comes in the wake of a national salmonella outbreak tied to peanut butter, which has resulted in additional fatalities.
Voluntary Action Taken as a Precaution
The company has not received any complaints or found any issues with its crackers. However, they have chosen to take this action out of an “abundance of caution” following a nationwide recall of peanut butter by one of its suppliers.
Products have been removed from retail stores and consumers are being urged not to eat these items until investigations into the supplier are completed, as stated in a company press release.
The affected crackers include Toasted Peanut Butter Sandwich Crackers, Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich Crackers, Cheese and Peanut Butter Sandwich Crackers, and Peanut Butter-Chocolate Sandwich Crackers.
Increasing Health Concerns
Officials in multiple states have recently reported that the salmonella outbreak has resulted in further deaths, and has now affected over 430 people across 43 states. Although the exact cause of death has not been definitively confirmed, all victims had contracted salmonella at the time of their deaths. It has been suggested that the salmonella outbreak may have played a part in these deaths.
After tests revealed a match between bacteria found in an open peanut butter container and the strain of salmonella causing the national outbreak, the supplier issued a voluntary withdrawal of all potentially affected lots of peanut butter. The recalled product, which was manufactured after July 1, 2008, is sold in bulk to various institutions and food companies.
The company’s president expressed deep regret over the situation and highlighted their commitment to customer safety through their decision to withdraw the product.
The infected supply was initially discovered following lab tests on a container of peanut butter from a long-term care facility. Following this finding, an early product warning was issued due to the detection of salmonella. Since then, over 1,000 cases of peanut butter have been involved in the recall.
Reports of people infected in this outbreak have been noted from early September to the end of December last year, with the majority of illnesses arising after October. Roughly 18% of those affected were hospitalized.
The currently identified strain of salmonella is Salmonella Typhimurium, the most common among over 2,500 types of salmonella bacteria present in the United States. Typically, it can be found in uncooked eggs and meats.
The recall, and its potential connection to the multi-state outbreak, brings back memories of a similar situation two years ago when another popular brand was linked to hundreds of salmonella cases across dozens of states.
For more information about salmonella, you can visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.