Foodborne Illnesses Loom Across America: Another Salmonella Outbreak Hits 9 States

A new Salmonella outbreak has hit America. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) believes it to be linked to a full line of nut butter spreads from JEM Raw Chocolate, LLC (Jem Raw) of Bend, Oregon. So far there have been 11 people sickened in nine states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The Jem Raw products were distributed nationwide between June and November 2015, according to the FDA’s press release on the recall. There have been no hospitalizations yet, and no deaths have been reported. The ages of people infected range from one to 79, according to the CDC.

The states affected by this recent Salmonella outbreak include California, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, North Carolina, New Jersey and Oregon. Oregon has seen three cases with the other states reporting one case each.

On December 2, Jem Raw Chocolate, LLC issued a voluntary recall of its complete line of nut butter spreads. “Although Jem Raw Products have not tested positive for salmonella, we feel strongly that issuing a voluntary recall is the right thing to do,” Jem Raw stated on its website.

Jem Raw asks consumers to discard any nut butter spreads, while they continue to work with retailers across the country to remove any products from their shelves as well. “We are taking these steps because consumer safety is our top priority,” Jen Moore, CEO of Jem Raw stated in news reports. Federal and state health officials are still investigating the source of this latest Salmonella outbreak. 

AnotherSalmonellaOutbreakHits9States_640x359The year 2015 has seen an alarming number of foodborne illnesses in America. The Salmonella outbreak linked to cucumbers imported by Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce and Custom Produce Sales has sickened 838 people in 38 states, hospitalized 165, and caused four deaths. Salmonella poisoning hospitalizes approximately 19,000 people, with 380 deaths each year, according to CDC statistics.

What can we safely eat these days without fear of foodborne illnesses? Eating at home and purchasing organic, locally grown produce and meat is likely to be our best and safest option. However, for many, this may present a dilemma — eating out is indeed a pleasant experience. I love trying a new restaurant now and again, but I can’t help but wonder, what is really in that kitchen? And where did it come from?

Cooking at home with fresh, local ingredients is the perfect way to ensure that you know exactly where your food was grown or has grazed — and who is cooking it. This may significantly reduce your risk of contracting a foodborne illness, as long as proper hygiene, growing and packaging is adhered to by you and your community farm. 

Eating in America has become a risky business. What else can we do to avoid foodborne illnesses?

-Stephen Seifert

Stephen Seifert is a writer, professor, adventurer and a health & fitness guru. His flare for travel and outdoor adventure allows him to enjoy culture and traditions different than his own. A healthy diet, routine fitness and constant mental development is the cornerstone to Stephen’s life.


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