December 8, 2016

Largest Multistate Food Poisoning Outbreaks 2015: #9 JEM Nut Butters

JEM-Salmonella-outbreakThe ninth-largest multistate food poisoning outbreak of 2015 was a Salmonella outbreak linked to JEM nut butters.  Eleven people in nine states were sickened by the raw nut butter spreads, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). There were three cases in Oregon. California, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, North Carolina and New Jersey each reported one case.

During interviews with public health investigators. Six people specifically mentioned mentioned eating JEM brand raw sprouted nut butter spreads before they became ill.

The outbreak strain, Salmonella Paratyphi B variant L(+) tartrate(+), formerly known as Salmonella Java, does not cause paratyphoid fever, enteric fever, or typhoid fever. But it does causes illness with symptoms including diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps which usually set in six to 72 hours after exposure and last about a week. 

On Dec. 2, JEM Raw Chocolate, LLC of Bend, Ore. recalled its entire line of sprouted nut butters.  The recall included all JEM Raw flavors of nut butter spreads which were sold nationwide in retail stores and through mail order in glass jars in sizes ranging from 1.25 ounces to 16 ounces.

The recalled products included: 1 oz sizes of: Cashew Cardamom – Sprouted Cashew Almond Spread with UPC 6 09728 97861 7; Cinnamon Red Maca – Sprouted Almond Spread with UPC 6 09728 97862 4; Hazelnut Raw Cacao – Sprouted Hazelnut Spread with UPC 6 09728 97865 5; Superberry Maqui Camu – Sprouted Almond Spread with UPC 6 09728 97864 8. Six-oz sizes of Cashew Cardamom – Sprouted Cashew Almond Spread with UPC 6 09728 97860 0; Cinnamon Red Maca – Sprouted Almond Spread with UPC 6 09728 97848 8; Hazelnut Raw Cacao -Sprouted Hazelnut Spread with UPC 6 09728 97857 0; and Superberry Maqui Camu – Sprouted Almond Spread with UPC 6 09728 97858 7. Sixteen oz sizes of Cashew Cardamom – Sprouted Cashew Almond Spread with UPC 6 09728 97854 9; Cinnamon Red Maca – Sprouted Almond Spread with UPC 6 09728 97850 1; Hazelnut Raw Cacao – Sprouted Hazelnut Spread with UPC 6 09728 97851 8 and Superberry Maqui Camu – Sprouted Almond Spread with UPC 6 09728 97852 5.

This is not the first time nut butters have been linked to a Salmonella outbreak. Last year, a five-state Salmonella Braenderup outbreak linked to nut butters made by nSpired Natural Foods sickened six people. The recalled products were sold under the brand names Trader Joe’s, Kroger, MaraNatha, Arrowhead Mills, and Whole Foods. Cases were reported from Connecticut (1), Iowa (1), New Mexico (1), Tennessee (1), and Texas (2).

In 2012, a Salmonella outbreak  linked to tainted peanut butter produced by Sunland Inc., then the nation’s largest producer of organic peanut butter, sickened 42 people. Those products were sold under various brand names including Target’s Archer Farms, Earth Balance, Safeway’s Open Nature, Fresh & Easy, Heinen’s, Joseph’s, Natural Value, Dogsbutter, Earth Balance, Late July, Naturally More, Open Nature, Peanut Power, Serious Food Silly Prices, Newman’s Own, Harry & David, Trader Joe’s, Sunland, and Snaclite. And in 2008 and 2009, peanut butter produced Peanut Corporation of America sickened m0re than 700 people, 116 were hospitalized. Seven people died.

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