By Shiryn Ghermezian, EnStarz | Sep 24, 2012 04:26 PM EDT
The grocery chain Trader Joe's has recalled their peanut butter that has been linked to 29 salmonella illnesses in 18 states, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The Food and Drug Administration, along with the federal Centers for Disease Control, said the Creamy Salted Valencia Peanut Butter, part of the Trade Joe's brand and which the grocery chain sells nationwide, is likely the source of the salmonella outbreak, according to the Times.
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They also reported that more than three-fourths of those who became ill from the peanut butter were children under the age of 18.
The chain has voluntarily pulled the item from their shelves and the FDA issued a statement on Saturday confirming that they, the CDC and the state of California briefed Trader Joe's on their concerns and are in the midst of an investigation to show the link between the peanut butter and the salmonella outbreaks, according to the Huffington Post.
The site also revealed that according to state health departments, three of the outbreaks were reported to happen in Massachusetts, one in Rhode Island and one in North Carolina.
"If you purchased this product, please do not eat it," Trader Joe's said in a statement, according to the Chicago Tribune. "We encourage you to return the product to any Trader Joe's for a full refund or dispose of it."
If present in food, salmonella does not usually affect the taste, smell or appearance of the item, according to the Food Safety and Inspection Service. They defined salmonella as "microscopic living creatures that pass from the feces of people or animals to other people or other animals."
It usually disappears within four to seven days but is especially dangerous and life-threatening for young children, pregnant women and their babies, older adults and anyone with a weak immune system.
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