Jars of almond butter and peanut butter from Hain Celestial Group’s unit nSpired Natural Foods, and sold under various brand names, are being recalled after four people became sick after ingesting the products. The recall involves Arrowhead Mills brand peanut butters and MaraNatha almond butters and peanut butters, as well as lots of private label almond butter from Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Kroger and Safeway. A total of 45 production lots are affected by the recall. The nut butters were sold in Canada, the Dominican Republic, Hong Kong, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States.
Routine testing by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) identified a risk for salmonella contamination. The FDA said it did not know how many jars were involved in the recall, and Hain Celestial Group refused to comment on the matter.
There have been numerous salmonella outbreaks in recent years. One of the most notorious involves Atlanta-based Peanut Corporation of America, during 2008 and 2009, in which more than 700 people were sickened and nine died. Executives with the company are currently facing dozens of criminal charges alleging they knowingly shipped peanuts contaminated with salmonella to manufacturers and covered up lab tests that had tested positive for salmonella.
Salmonella is a bacteria that if ingested can cause an infection that causes diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps. Most healthy people recover within a few days, however some individuals, such as young children, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems, can suffer serious and sometimes fatal consequences.