Several Jif peanut butter products recalled due to possible salmonella

The JM Smucker Company has recalled several Jif peanut butter products sold in the United States and Canada due to possible salmonella contamination that federal regulators say is linked to 14 illnesses.

In a statement posted Friday on the federal Food and Drug Administration’s website, the company encouraged consumers who bought the potentially contaminated products to throw them away immediately.

Products listed include several creamy, crunchy, low-fat, and natural peanut butter products in various sizes, as well as a 40-ounce jar of natural honey.

The Smucker Company said it was coordinating “a thorough investigation” with the FDA. The recalled items were sold nationwide.

Salmonella is a bacteria that can grow in food and, if ingested, can cause fever, diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal cramps. In young children, the elderly, or those with weakened immune systems, the infection can be more serious and potentially fatal.

The FDA said cases of salmonella related to the peanut butter had been reported in a dozen states as of Sunday. Two people have been hospitalized, it says.

The agency said epidemiological evidence indicated that Jif-brand peanut butter, produced at the Smucker Company facility in Lexington, Ky., was “the likely cause of disease in this outbreak.”

The recall affects Jif brand peanut butter products with lot code numbers 1274425 through 2140425, with numbers ending in 425. Lot numbers are listed next to the best before date.

Each month, the FDA announces the recall of several products — some for cross-contamination with allergens, others because “foreign materials,” such as metal, have been found in food, and some over bacterial contamination.

In October, hundreds of people in the United States were sickened by a salmonella outbreak linked to imported red, white and yellow onions. Last summer, 31 people became ill after eating hydroponic lettuce.

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