CDC, public health and regulatory officials in several states, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) collected different types of data to investigate a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Senftenberg infections.
Epidemiologic and laboratory data showed that Jif brand peanut butter made people sick.
As of July 27, 2022, this outbreak is over.
As of July 27, 2022, a total of 21 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Senftenberg were reported from 17 states. Illnesses started on dates ranging from February 20, 2022, through May 24, 2022.
Sick people ranged in age from less than one to 85 years, with a median age of 59, and 75% were female. Of 13 people with information available, 4 were hospitalized. No deaths were reported.
State and local public health officials interviewed people about the foods they ate in the week before they got sick. Of the 13 people interviewed, 13 (100%) reported eating peanut butter in the week before they got sick. This percentage was significantly higher than results from a survey of healthy people, in which 57% of respondents reported eating any peanut butter in the week before they were interviewed. This suggests that people in this outbreak got sick from eating peanut butter. All 13 people reported eating Jif brand peanut butter specifically.
Public health investigators used the PulseNet system to identify illnesses that were part of this outbreak. CDC PulseNet manages a national database of DNA fingerprints of bacteria that cause foodborne illnesses. DNA fingerprinting is performed on bacteria using a method called whole genome sequencing (WGS). WGS showed that bacteria from sick people’s samples were closely related genetically. This means that people in this outbreak likely got sick from the same food.
FDA conducted WGS analysis on an environmental sample collected at the Lexington, Kentucky, J.M. Smucker Company facility in 2010. The analysis shows that this 2010 environmental sample was closely related genetically to the outbreak strain.
On May 20, 2022, J.M. Smucker Company recalled multiple Jif brand peanut butter types made at the Lexington, Kentucky, facility. Additional companies recalled foods made with Jif brand peanut butter.