Food

FDA Investigated Multistate Outbreak of Salmonella Infections Linked to Raw Nut Butter Products

January 15, 2016

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Update: January 15, 2016

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local officials investigated a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Paratyphi B variant L (+) tartrate (+) infections. On January 15, 2016, the CDC announced that the outbreak appeared to be over.

What was the Problem and What was Being Done About It?  

The FDA, CDC, and state and local officials investigated a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Paratyphi B infections linked to sprouted non-peanut nut butter products produced by JEM Raw Chocolate, LLC (JEM Raw) located in Bend, Oregon. Epidemiologic information available at this time has identified this specific brand of sprouted nut butter as the likely source of this outbreak.

According to the CDC, 13 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Paratyphi B variant L (+) tartrate (+) were reported from 10 states: California (1), Colorado (1), Georgia (1), Hawaii (1), Idaho (1), Illinois (1), Maine (1), New Jersey (1), North Carolina (1), and Oregon (4 ). Reported and estimated onset dates range from July 18, 2015 to October 15, 2015.

After a December 1, 2015 conference call with the FDA, CDC, Oregon Department of Agriculture, and Oregon Department of Health, JEM Raw Chocolate LLC voluntarily recalled all 12 of its nut butter spreads on December 2, 2015 because these products have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.

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What are the Signs & Symptoms of Salmonella?

Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps. The illness usually lasts four to seven days, and most people recover without treatment. 

It is important to note that this outbreak is caused by Salmonella Paratyphi B variant. This type of bacteria does not cause typhoid fever, paratyphoid fever or enteric fever.

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How Soon do Symptoms Appear After Exposure?

Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection. 

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What are the Complications of Salmonella Infections?

In some people, the diarrhea may be so severe that they need to be hospitalized. In these patients, the Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the blood stream, and then to other body sites and can cause death unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics. 

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Who is at Risk?

Children are the most likely to get salmonellosis. The rate of diagnosed infections in children less than 5 years of age is higher than the rate in all other people. Children younger than 5 years of age, the elderly, and those people with weakened immune systems are more likely to have severe infections. It is estimated that approximately 400 people in the United States die each year with acute salmonellosis.

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What Specific Products were Recalled?

Product Name Net Weight (oz) UPC
Cashew Cardamom - Sprouted Cashew Almond Spread 1 6 09728 97861 7
Cinnamon Red Maca - Sprouted Almond Spread 1 6 09728 97862 4
Hazelnut Raw Cacao - Sprouted Hazelnut Spread 1 6 09728 97865 5
Superberry Maqui Camu - Sprouted Almond Spread 1 6 09728 97864 8
Cashew Cardamom - Sprouted Cashew Almond Spread 6 6 09728 97860 0
Cinnamon Red Maca - Sprouted Almond Spread 6 6 09728 97848 8
Hazelnut Raw Cacao -Sprouted Hazelnut Spread 6 6 09728 97857 0
Superberry Maqui Camu - Sprouted Almond Spread 6 6 09728 97858 7
Cashew Cardamom - Sprouted Cashew Almond Spread 16 6 09728 97854 9
Cinnamon Red Maca - Sprouted Almond Spread 16 6 09728 97850 1
Hazelnut Raw Cacao - Sprouted Hazelnut Spread 16 6 09728 97851 8
Superberry Maqui Camu - Sprouted Almond Spread 16 6 09728 97852 5

The JEM Raw recalled products were distributed nationwide in retail stores, through mail order sales and on the internet.

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What Do Retailers Need To Do?

Retailers should not sell or serve any of the recalled products from JEM Raw Chocolate LLC. Retailers should carefully check their shelves for recalled products.  

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What Do Consumers Need To Do?

Consumers should not eat any of the recalled products produced by JEM Raw Chocolate LLC. If they have any such products, they should dispose of them in the garbage. Contact JEM Raw Chocolate LLC for any questions concerning product replacement.

Some people are at greater risk for foodborne illness. These susceptible groups include:

  • Pregnant women
  • Young children
  • Older adults
  • People whose immune systems are compromised
  • People who have decreased stomach acidity

If you are unsure of your risk, ask your healthcare provider.

Consumers should always practice safe food handling and preparation measures. Wash hands, utensils, and surfaces with hot, soapy water before and after handling food. If more specific information becomes available FDA and CDC will share it with the public, along with any steps consumers can take to prevent illnesses.

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Who Should be Contacted?

People who think they might have become ill from eating JEM Raw Chocolate LLC organic nut butter products should talk to their health care providers. Contact your healthcare provider if you think you may have become ill from eating nut butter products.

People with questions may call JEM Raw Chocolate LLC at (541) 728-3844 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. PST, Monday through Friday. 

The FDA encourages consumers with questions about food safety to call 1-888-SAFEFOOD Monday through Friday between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Eastern time, or to consult the FDA website.

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Additional Information

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Page Last Updated: 01/15/2016
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