News From Our Blog

Outbreaks of Human Salmonella Infections Linked to Small Turtles

Since 1975, it has been illegal in the United States to sell or distribute small turtles with shells that measure less than 4 inches in length. However, small turtles continue to cause human Salmonella infections, especially among young children.

Recently, more than 160 illnesses from 30 states have been linked to exposure to turtles or water from their containers. Sixty four percent of victims are age 10 or younger, and 27 percent are age one or younger.

Salmonella infections often lead to diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps, but in very rare cases they can cause death if not treated properly.

Contact with reptiles (such as turtles, snakes, and lizards) and amphibians (such as frogs and toads) can be a source of human Salmonella infections. Salmonella germs are shed in droppings and can easily contaminate their bodies and water, and from there they spread to people.

Here’s how to protect yourself:

  • Don’t buy small turtles from street vendors, websites, pet stores, or other sources.
  • Keep reptiles out of homes with young children or people with weakened immune systems.
  • Don’t keep reptiles in child care centers, nursery schools, or other facilities with young children.
  • Always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water immediately after touching a reptile or anything in the area where they live and roam. Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not readily available. Adults should always supervise hand washing for young children.

Learn more about preventing infections and read more about the current outbreaks from the Centers for Disease Control.

Recall on Smucker’s® Chunky Natural Peanut Butter

From the Food and Drug Administration:

The J.M. Smucker Company today announced a limited voluntary recall on two specific Best-If-Used-By dates of 16 oz. Smucker’s® Natural Peanut Butter Chunky because it may be contaminated with Salmonella, an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems.

The affected product, which is packaged in 16 oz. jars, is as follows:

    • UPC: 5150001701 (located on the side of the jar’s label below the bar code)
    • Production Codes: 1307004 and 1308004
    • Best-If-Used-By dates: August 3, 2012 and August 4, 2012
    • Chunky product only (not creamy)
    • Impacted product would have been purchased between November 8 - 17, 2011

No other products of The J.M. Smucker Company are affected by this recall.

No illnesses related to this issue have been reported and the product is being recalled out of an abundance of caution for consumer safety.

Consumers who have purchased Smucker’s Natural Peanut Butter Chunky with the above Production Code and Best-If-Used-By dates are urged to discard the product immediately and call the company at 1-888-550-9555 for a replacement coupon.

Learn more about this recall from the Food and Drug Administration.