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Posted on Tue, Sep 25, 2012 : 10:53 a.m.

Southeast Michigan child sick from salmonella outbreak linked to Trader Joe's peanut butter

By Amy Biolchini

Editor's note: This story was updated at 11:20 a.m.

A child in southeast Michigan has been sickened from a multistate outbreak of salmonella possibly linked to a variety of almond and peanut butter products, including a type of Trader Joe’s peanut butter, Michigan officials announced Tuesday morning.

Officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are linking a number of products manufactured by California-based Sunland Inc. — including Trader Joe’s Valencia Creamy Peanut Butter made with sea salt — to an outbreak of salmonella poisoning in 29 people across 18 states.

The Michigan Department of Community Health declined to release more specific information as to where the child in southeast Michigan was from. Washtenaw County Public Health said they had not received any reports of a child sick from Salmonella infection that could be linked to the peanut butter recall as of Tuesday.

People fell ill from the salmonella from June 11 to Sept. 2, according to information provided by the Michigan Department of Community Health. Those affected range in age from 1 to 77. About 76 percent of all cases are in people under the age of 18.

Thirty-six percent of the reported cases resulted in the person’s hospitalization.

Trader Joe’s issued a nationwide recall of the peanut butter in question Sept. 22. Prior to the recall, the stores had removed the product from its shelves.

The Trader Joe’s Valencia Creamy Peanut Butter made with sea salt comes in a 16-ounce plastic jar and is sold in the store and online. Consumers can return the product to any Trader Joe’s store for a full refund.

Sunland Inc.’s recall includes its almond butter, peanut butter and cashew butter, as well as its tahini and roasted blanched peanut products, all of which were manufactured between May 1 and Sept. 24. Consumers are advised to throw the products away.

Questions can be directed to Trader Joe’s Customer Relations by calling (626) 599-3817 or to Sunland Inc. by calling (866) 837-1018.

Signs associated with salmonella infection include diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps about 12 to 72 hours after being exposed to the bacteria. The illness usually lasts about four to seven days, and most people are able to recover without being treated.

Individuals who have purchased the products included in the recall and became sick should consult their doctor.

Amy Biolchini covers Washtenaw County, health and environmental issues for Reach her at (734) 623-2552, or on Twitter.



Tue, Oct 2, 2012 : 2:33 p.m.

I just get the store brands. Cheaper and less problematic.

Ann English

Wed, Sep 26, 2012 : 3:12 a.m.

It wasn't too long ago that I noticed that Trader Joe had its own brand of almond butter, and I was considering buying some. When I saw the headline about the PEANUT butter and salmonella, I had hoped that the almond butter wasn't affected too. Apparently using almond butter COOKED wouldn't make it safe; Far Eastern recipes also use peanut butter cooked in their recipes. I think I've noticed the cashew butter too at our own local Trader Joe store. Especially disappointing that tahini sold there had salmonella; tahini contains soy, and I like to get soy tempeh at Trader Joe.

Thinking over here

Tue, Sep 25, 2012 : 4:52 p.m.

Can you get salmonella just by purchasing the product? :)