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Department of Health News

Watch Out for Trader Joe's Peanut Butter

Photo of recalled Trader Joe's peanut butter.The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NC DHHS) is warning North Carolina consumers not to eat or purchase Trader Joe’s Valencia Creamy Salted Peanut Butter made with sea salt because of a possible link to a national outbreak of Salmonella infections.

A North Carolina child is among more than 29 cases of illness across the country believed to be connected to the product.  Health officials say many of the cases have been reported in children.

Trader Joe’s has issued a voluntary recall of the product; however, no specific information is available on product lot numbers.

“The investigation into the exact source of the infection is ongoing, so until there are more details, we recommend that anyone who has any of this particular product at home discard it immediately,” said Dr. Megan Davies, state epidemiologist.  “If you are experiencing symptoms of stomach illness, contact your health care provider.”

Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection. The illness usually lasts four to seven days, and most people recover without treatment. However, in some persons, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized to prevent severe and sometimes fatal complications. The elderly, infants, and those with impaired immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness.