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Trader Joe's recalls almond butter for salmonella contamination

Raw, unground almonds are a good food but if you have contaminated almond butter, get rid of it at once.
Raw, unground almonds are a good food but if you have contaminated almond butter, get rid of it at once.Mullookkaaran/Wikimedia Commons

Once again, the potentially-lethal bacterium, salmonella, has shown up in foods popular among consumers. Trader Joe's stores are alerting consumers as of today, August 18, 2014, about a recall of their almond butter which has been found to contain salmonella. In this case the contamination has been found in products that, ironically enough, are purchased by people wishing to avoid other health issues, such as peanut allergies. These stores, headquartered in Monrovia, California, carry a variety of such butters that are frequently an alternative to those wishing to avoid peanuts. In this instance, however, these substitutes are unsafe for use and are being pulled from the shelves immediately.

For those who still prefer to find an alternative to peanut products, don’t lose hope, there are any number of other choices at this chain as well as others. Cashews, sunflowers, and other nuts are often ground for use as a spread. As for this almond butter, though, don’t take a chance. Remove it from your home at once, either to throw in the garbage (please, do NOT put it where animals can gain access to it!) or return it to Trader Joe’s for a refund.

Do not handle the almond butter, as this pretty much guarantees you will spread the germs to yourself and likely to others. Hand contact is a common method of passing salmonella, as well as other bacteria and viruses, into food. The fact that it has become less and less a normal practice for people—even those handling food at work—to wash their hands only exacerbates the contamination. For elimination of the contaminated food, it is best to wear disposable gloves, avoid touching yourself or anything at all in the process, and put the product in a container with a good lid. Unfortunately, some choose to get rid of such items by flushing them down the toilet or sink. Putting salmonella bacteria into the sewage system is not a great idea, considering how much the germs can thrive under such circumstances.

The specific information on the almond butter is as follows:

(SKU 91989) Raw Crunchy Unsalted Almond Butter [USE BY 28DEC14 thru 18JUN15]

(SKU 56995) Raw Creamy Unsalted Almond Butter [USE BY 27DEC14 thru 18JUL15]

This data is taken from a notice sent out online to regular Trader Joe’s customers today. If you need to contact the company, please do so at: Customer Relations at (626) 599-3817 [Monday through Friday, 6:00 am to 6:00 pm Pacific Time].

If you believe you have already contracted salmonella poisoning—with symptoms such as diarrhea (sometimes with blood), vomiting, nausea, fever in some cases—go immediately to an Urgent Care clinic or Emergency Room for treatment. Be specific in telling medical staff what you have eaten and that you have consumed food that is known to be contaminated with salmonella.