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FDA Recalls Smucker’s Peanut Butter for Salmonella: Contaminated Products in Illinois

The FDA’s latest recall is aimed at retracting Smucker’s peanut butter as a result of possible salmonella contamination.

According to a recent report by MSNBC and the Associated Press, thousands of jars of Smucker’s Natural Peanut Butter Chunky are affected by this recall; representatives on behalf of the company say that the infected jars would have been on grocery store shelved in the last week or so.

J.M. Smucker Co. is an American manufacturer of fruit spreads, ice cream toppings, beverages, shortening, natural peanut butter and other products. The corporation is based out of the Midwest, and the product was distributed across the country, including to retail stores across Illinois.

The contaminated jars have “Best if Used By” dates of Aug. 3, 2012 and Aug. 4, 2012, and are labeled with the production codes 1307004 and 1308004. Consumers are warned not to eat the product, and instead are urged to either throw the product away, or return it to a local retailer for a full refund.

Salmonella is a bacterium found in the intestines of both warm- and cold-blooded animals. The most common method of infection is by ingestion of foods that are contaminated with the bacteria. Although symptoms are generally mild, infants, the elderly, and adults with compromised immune systems are more susceptible to infection and salmonella infections can become very serious with potentially deadly complications.

The most common effects of salmonella poisoning include fever, cramps, and intestinal inflammation with diarrhea. In severe cases, individuals may require hospitalization for dehydration from diarrhea, and in infants, dehydration can cause a state of severe toxicosis and salmonella meningitis. A doctor can provide a diagnosis with regard to whether an individual has been contaminated by salmonella.

Every year, approximately 40,000 cases of food poisoning by salmonella are reported in the United States. Food poisoning by salmonella may lead to serious injury, hospitalizations, pain and suffering, or even death, if the infection is allowed to progress.

An important concept in Illinois product liability law is the idea that corporations are responsible for ensuring the safety of products they put on the market. When food manufacturers distribute merchandise to the public that either contains foreign objects or contagions, the companies may be held legally responsible for the injuries they cause and the damages and expenses arising from those injuries
Victims may be able to seek compensation by way of an Illinois personal injury lawsuit against the company disseminating the product. In cases where food poisoning leads to death, the family of the victim may also be able to bring an Illinois wrongful death lawsuit for loss of companionship of the deceased family member, and the loss of wages that the victim would have otherwise contributed to his or her family’s well-being.

In fact, our attorneys obtained a $4 million settlement against a hotel chain, on behalf of three convention attendees who contracted salmonella poisoning that caused them to suffer crippling arthritic injuries. The money damages went to pay for the past and future medical expenses suffered by the victims, and for the loss of a normal life. Additionally, the Chicago personal injury lawsuit served to send a message to the responsible party to warn them to be more careful in the future.