Whether you’re running out to pick up a few quick essentials or using their website to stock up on items, Walmart is a quintessential one-stop shopping option for millions of customers. But if you’ve recently made purchases from the mega-retailer, you may want to take a moment and go over what you bought. That’s because the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) just issued a major safety warning for people who shop at the store. Read on to see which product sold there could pose a potential health risk.
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Beginning on May 20, the J.M. Smucker Co. announced a recall on specific Jif peanut butter products sold nationwide throughout the U.S. at retail stores and other outlets. The company decided to pull the products after discovering potential Salmonella contamination in them that poses a major health threat.
Since then, a string of recalls has followed, with companies pulling related products using Jif peanut butter as an ingredient from shelves. On May 21, convenience store chain Wawa announced a recall on two products containing Jif, per the FDA website. A day later, Cargill issued a product recall on select lots of milk and dark chocolate-covered peanut butter Ritz crackers, peanut butter meltaways, peanut butter eggs, and fudge sold locally through the Wilbur Chocolate retail store in Pennsylvania, as well as online at Wilburbuds.com.
By May 24, recall notices were issued for even more related products containing the potentially tainted ingredient, including Mary’s Harvest celery peanut butter cups and apple peanut butter cups; similar fresh fruit and peanut butter cups from Garden Cut; Coblentz Chocolate Company’s milk chocolate peanut butter cup, Ritz peanut butter sandwich, chocolate peanut butter caramel corn, and other products; Fresh Seasons Power Packs snack packages; Country Fresh fresh-cut fruit snack trays and fruit snack cups; fresh fruit snack packs from Fresh Del Monte; and a list of 11 store-prepared items from Albertsons Companies sold across more than 20 grocery store chains.
Now, more items have been added to the growing list of recalled products. On May 25, the FDA announced that Walmart had issued a voluntary recall of certain fudge products sold by the mega-retailer containing potentially contaminated peanut butter. The affected items are sold under both the Walmart and Fudgeamentals brand names sold in clear plastic containers, including specific lots of Walmart Fudge Trio V-Tines (16 oz.), Walmart Fudge Trio Holiday Fudge Trays (16 oz.), Fudgementals Peanut Butter Chocolate Fudge Bars (8 oz.), Fudgementals Variety Trays (16 oz.), Fudgementals Peanut Butter Chocolate Fudge Bites (8 oz.), Fudgementals Peanut Butter Fudge Bites (8 oz.), Fudgementals Peanut Butter Fudge Bars (8 oz.), and Fudgementals Tiger Butter Fudge Bar (8 oz.).
The potential Salmonella contamination that spurred the recalls poses a potentially serious health threat to some people. According to the FDA, the harmful bacteria is especially dangerous to young children, frail or elderly people, and those who are immunocompromised or have weakened immune systems.
In healthy people, Salmonella causes symptoms such as fever, potentially bloody diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. The agency warns that the microorganism can also cause more severe illnesses when it enters the bloodstream in certain rare cases, including arterial infection, endocarditis, and arthritis.
Fortunately, the FDA reports that no injuries or adverse health reactions related to the recalled products have been reported. However, anyone concerned about an illness should contact their healthcare provider immediately.
The agency advises anyone who bought the affected items to return them to the original store where they purchased them. In addition, customers can direct questions or report adverse reactions to Jif’s website. They can also call 800-828-9980 on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET.