Publisher’s Platform: J.M. Smucker and FDA, I have some questions

  1. Will J.M. Smucker Company and/or the FDA release immediately all inspection reports on this Jif plant from 2010 (see below) to the present?
  2. Will J.M. Smucker Company and/or the FDA answer if other WGS Salmonella Senftenberg samples found on the public database NCBI from 2010 to the present (notably 2014) are or are not linked to the J.M. Smucker Company Jif Peanut Butter plant?

A little transparency would be nice.

Since the last update on May 21, 2022, two more illnesses have been reported. As of May 25, 2022, a total of 16 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Senftenberg have been reported from 12 states:  Arkansas (1), Georgia (2), Illinois (1), Massachusetts (1), Missouri (2), Ohio (1), North Carolina (2), New York (1), South Carolina (1), Texas (2), Virginia (1), and Washington (1).

Interesting fact, according to the CDC, for every one person who is a stool-culture confirmed positive victim of Salmonella in the United States, there is a multiple of 38.5 who are also sick but remain uncounted. (See, AC Voetsch, “FoodNet estimate of the burden of illness caused by nontyphoidal Salmonella infections in the United States,” Clinical Infectious Diseases 2004; 38 (Suppl 3): S127-34).

Illnesses started on dates ranging from February 19, 2022, through May 2, 2022. Sick people range in age from less than one to 85 years, with a median age of 51, and 73% are female. Of nine people with information available, two have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

The true number of sick people in an outbreak is likely much higher than the number reported, and the outbreak may not be limited to the states with known illnesses. This is because many people recover without medical care and are not tested for Salmonella. In addition, recent illnesses may not yet be reported as it usually takes 2 to 4 weeks to determine if a sick person is part of an outbreak.

State and local public health officials are interviewing people about the foods they ate in the week before they got sick. Of the 10 people interviewed, 10 (100%) reported eating peanut butter. Of the nine sick people with brand information, all nine (100%) reported eating Jif brand peanut butter.

Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) analysis shows that samples from sick people in this investigation are closely related genetically to a sample collected in 2010 from the environment at J.M. Smucker Company’s facility in Lexington, KY, where some Jif brand peanut butter is produced.  We have sent a Freedom of Information Act request to the FDA for the release of all inspection reports of this plant from 2010 to the present.

On May 20, 2022, J.M. Smucker Company recalled multiple Jif brand peanut butter types. Additional companies have recalled food items made with Jif brand peanut butter. Do not eat, sell, or serve recalled foods.

Here is the most current recall list thanks to eFoodAlert:

  • The JM Smucker Co. – US May 20, 2022
  • The JM Smucker Co. – Canada May 21, 2022
  • Rainbow Asset Limited – Hong Kong:May 23, 2022
  • Randy Ltd. – Israel:May 23, 2022
  • Albertsons Companies(11 store-prepared items) May 21, 2022
  • Bix Produce Company(2 products containing Jif Creamy Peanut Butter To Go 1.5 oz. cup) May 26, 2022
  • Cargill(multiple products containing peanut butter, sold at the Wilbur Chocolate Retail Store in Lititz, Pa. and online at May 23, 2022
  • Coblentz Chocolate Company(multiple peanut butter products) May 24, 2022
  • Country Fresh(select fresh-cut fruit snack trays and fruit snack cups) May 24, 2022
  • Fresh Del Monte(fresh-cut fruit and vegetable products containing ready-to-eat Jif® peanut butter dip) May 24, 2022
  • Fudgeamentals(several fudge products made with Jif Peanut Butter) May 25, 2022
  • Garden Cut, LLC(Garden Cut products containing 0.750z Jif Peanut Butter Cup) May 24, 2022
  • Giant(Store Brand Apples, Pretzels & Celery with Peanut Butter) May 23, 2022
  • Martin’s(Store Brand Apples, Pretzels & Celery with Peanut Butter) May 23, 2022
  • Mary’s Harvest Fresh Foods Inc(Mary’s Harvest Celery Peanut Butter Cup G&G and Apple Peanut Butter Cup G&G) May 24, 2022
  • Price Chopper(M32 Apples, Cheese and Pretzels with Peanut Butter Tray) May 23, 2022
  • Taher Inc.(“Fresh Seasons Power Packs”) May 24, 2022
  • Wawa(two products containing Jif Peanut Butter) May 24, 2022
  • Wegmans(Wegmans Snack with Apple, Pretzels, Cheese and Peanut Butter) May 22, 2022