We might be on familiar ground with another peanut butter recall, but this time is different. Thankfully, the biggest change is that people have only been ill. Thus far, 16 people from 12 states have been affected, with two hospitalized, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The initial declaration began on May 20 with the J.M. Smucker Co. recalling multiple Jif brand peanut butter types, including creamy, crunchy, natural and reduced fat.
In the following couple of weeks, at least 18 companies have recalled products containing Jif. Americans were cautioned against eating a range of baked goods, sandwiches, candy, ice cream, trail mix and ready-to-eat salad products made with the recalled Jif peanut butter. Snacks were pulled from stores, vending machines and restaurants across the country.
Everyone involved has been quick to respond to the recall, which is also different from the one in 2009. However, that recall was mainly product ingredients, making it much more of a challenge to identify and recall.
When I first heard about the salmonella-tainted product, I had probably eaten peanut butter already that day or was eating it at the time. The jar is never too far from my chair, and Jif is my preferred brand. I dutifully checked the numbers and sure enough they matched. These were the big jars, too. The kind that come in the double pack for the serious peanut butter lovers. One jar was half empty!
I left the jars on the counter for a couple of days, but eventually decided that I had to be respectful of the industry I love so much by adhering to the recall. I threw the jars away. The next day, I was at the store trying to decide what other brand I would try. I picked one crunchy and one creamy, both organic. Trying something new has been a positive.
Eventually, the recall will pass and J.M. Smucker will bring Jif back to the market. I’ll buy the first jar I can, but maybe I’ll continue trying different peanut butter products as well. Let’s hope all consumers do the same.