KEY POINTS

  • Fourteen people from 12 states have been infected with the outbreak strain
  • Some people who fell ill revealed they ate peanut butter before getting sick
  • CDC says it's "likely" more people are actually affected by the outbreak

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a food safety alert regarding a multistate Salmonella outbreak. Investigations so far suggest a link to recently recalled Jif brand peanut butter.

Fourteen people from 12 states have been infected with the Salmonella outbreak strain, the CDC noted in a statement Wednesday. Two people have so far been hospitalized. Five people interviewed by officials reported eating peanut butter in the week prior to getting sick, with four of them saying they consumed a Jif brand product.

"Interviews with ill people and laboratory data suggest some Jif brand peanut butters may be contaminated with Salmonella and making people sick," the agency said.

Furthermore, whole genome sequencing revealed that the strains in the people who got sick were "closely related genetically," suggesting that they got sick from consuming the same food.

According to the agency, it's "likely" that more people are actually affected by the outbreak since some people tend to recover from the illness without being tested for Salmonella. It also takes up to four weeks to determine if someone is actually a part of the outbreak.

J.M. Smucker Co. has already recalled several Jif brand peanut butter last Friday over possible Salmonella contamination. Consumers can find a full list of the recalled Jif products on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website, though the CDC is working to determine if there are any additional products.

Cargill issued Monday a recall of certain chocolate products that contain Jif peanut butter.

The CDC is advising people to not eat any of the recalled peanut butter products and to check their pantries if they still have it in their homes as they have a long shelf life. Containers that may have come into contact with the recalled peanut butter should be washed with hot and soapy water.

Those who develop Salmonella symptoms after consuming a recalled product should contact a healthcare provider. They include diarrhea for more than three days that is not improving, bloody diarrhea, vomiting and signs of dehydration.

Peanut Butter Pictured: Representational image. Photo: Pixabay