Salmonella bacteria (Photo : Reuters)
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) suspects that Salmonella-tainted peanut butter from the U.S. was distributed online to Canadian consumers, and has issued a warning on the following brands: Fairytale, Justin's, Wolferman's, and Harry & David.
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While no cases have been reported in Canada, the illness has sickened 35 people in the U.S., spanning 19 states. Cases have been reported in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Virginia, and Washington.
The contamination originated from nut distributor Sunland Inc., with the first instance of illness tied to Trader Joe's Creamy Valencia Peanut Butter. A list of recalled products can be found here. Over time, the list expanded to include tahini, cashew butters, blanched and roasted peanut products, chocolate butter, banana butter, and Thai ginger butter.
Symptoms include diarrhea, headaches, high fever, and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection. Typically, illness passes after four to seven days. In rare cases, Salmonella has been known to produce arthritis, endocarditis, and arterial infections. Health officials warn that children, elderly people, and those with weak immune systems are prone to deadly infections.
The CFIA notes that "food contaminated with Salmonella may not look or smell spoiled. Consumption of food contaminated with these bacteria may cause salmonellosis, a foodborne illness." The Agency instructs customers with questions to call the CFIA at 1-800-442-2342/TTY 1-800-465-7735 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday.