Eleven people in nine states have been sickened in a Salmonella outbreak that has been linked to JEM Raw brand sprouted nut butter spreads, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced on Thursday.
On Wednesday, Oregon-based JEM Raw Chocolate LLC announced a voluntary recall of its full line of nut butter spreads because the products are potentially contaminated with Salmonella Paratyphi B variant L(+) tartrate(+) bacteria, formerly known as Salmonella Java.
This bacteria can cause diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps 12-72 hours after exposure.
The recall affects all flavors of nut butter spreads sold by JEM Raw. The sprouted cashew, almond and hazelnut spreads are packaged in glass jars in sizes ranging from 1.25 ounces to 16 ounces. They were distributed nationwide in retail stores and through mail order between June 2015 and November 2015.
CDC said it was collaborating with state public health officials and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to investigate the outbreak.
Meanwhile, JEM Raw said in a statement that it was working with distributors and retailers to remove the recalled products from retail shelves. Consumers should discard any product and its container and contact the company with questions about product replacement.
Jen Moore, co-founder and CEO, said: “We are taking these steps because consumer safety is our top priority. As a health food company, our customers’ health is our number one priority. Although no JEM Raw products have tested positive for Salmonella, we feel strongly that issuing a voluntary recall is the right thing to do. JEM is working closely with the FDA, ODA (Oregon Department of Agriculture) and OHA (Oregon Health Authority) to determine the root cause of the outbreak.”
No one has been hospitalized as a result of the outbreak, and no deaths have been reported.