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Salmonella outbreak spurs peanut butter recall

Salmonella outbreak in 18 states has possible link to Trader Joe's Valencia Salted Peanut Butter. Trader Joe's issues recall as officials investigate 29 cases in salmonella outbreak.

By Schuyler VelascoCorrespondent / September 24, 2012

This photo from the Food and Drug Administration shows a recalled jar of Trader Joe's Creamy Valencia Salted Peanut Butter. Possibly linked to a salmonella outbreak in 18 states, the product has been removed from all Trader Joe's locations nationwide. Customers can return the peanut butter for a full refund.



Grocery store chain Trader Joe's is recalling jars of a specific variety of  its store-brand peanut butter.

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Trader Joe's Creamy Valencia salted Peanut Butter made with Sea Salt was removed from store shelves in anticipation of a recall due to possible links  to 29 cases of salmonella reported in 18 states.

All jars of the product, no matter when or where they were sold, are included in the recall. Trader Joe's has more than 360 locations in 30 states and Washington, D.C., with the heaviest concentration of stores in California. The chain also sells products online.   

"We have no confirmed information that suggests this peanut butter is unsafe to eat, but there is nothing more important to us than the health and safety of our customers and crew, and the quality of our products," read a press statement released Friday by the grocery chain based in Monrovia, Calif. "As such, if you purchased this product, please do not eat it. We encourage you to return the product to any Trader Joe's for a full refund or dispose of it."

Other varieties of Trader Joe's peanut butter are not affected. 

The recalled peanut butter comes in a 16-ounce plastic jar and has the product code 97111. Jars with all expiration dates are implicated in the recall, but illnesses related to the salmonella outbreak have been reported from June 11 to Sept. 2. Some illnesses that occurred in late August may not have been reported yet, according to the Centers for Disease Control. No deaths have been reported. 

The CDC, working together with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), found that the Trader Joe's peanut butter was the likely cause of the salmonella outbreak, though the link has not been confirmed. The agencies are also investigating other products sold at Trader Joe's to determine possible sources of salmonella contamination, according to a statement from the CDC. 

The 18 states in which salmonella cases were reported haven't yet been revealed by the FDA.  

The peanut butter recall is Trader Joe's second in the month of September. Last week, the chain removed its Tropical Fruit Medley with expiration dates between Sept. 2 and Sept 18 from stores in 17 states: Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, Nebraska, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Southern Virginia, and Wisconsin.

For further information, customers can call the company at 626-599-3817, view its press release, or see the FDA's seperate press release

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