According to the FDA, Trader Joe’s Valencia Creamy Salted Peanut Butter made with Sea Salt is likely link to the 29 Salmonella bredeney illnesses that have been reported from 18 states thus far.  According to eFoodAlert, CDC has not released a list of affected states; however, some of the states have issued their own Alerts. These include:

According to the CDC, Salmonella bredeney illness onset dates range from June 11, 2012 to September 2, 2012. Ill persons range in age from less than 1 year to 77 years, with a median age of 7 years. Seventy-six percent of ill persons are children under 18 years old. Sixty-four percent of ill persons are male. Among 11 ill persons with available information, 4 (36%) reported being hospitalized.

Salmonella bredeney is a rare serotype and represented just 0.06 % of Salmonella serotypes in the USA’s Center for Disease Control surveillance system in 2009 (Newell et al., 2010).  There have been a few reported outbreaks of Salmonella bredeney:

  • Clinical presentation and treatment of a Salmonella bredeney epidemic in Shelby County, Alabama.  South Med J. 1999 Aug; 92(8):799-801. Jahraus CD, Philips HL.

Background:  Numerous residents of Shelby County, Alabama, were infected with Salmonella when a restaurant unknowingly served food tainted with the bacterium. Because of the similarity in symptoms caused by other gastrointestinal pathogens and the variability in time of presentation, an outbreak such as this could be confused with one of another pathogenic origin. The pathogen identified, Salmonella bredeney, is a particularly rare cause of food poisoning. It makes up only 0.1% of the Salmonella isolates identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) each year.

Methods:  We analyzed patient presentations through chart review and combined this information with that obtained from the state laboratories in Montgomery and the Shelby County Health Department.

Results:  Symptoms were mostly gastrointestinal and ranged greatly in severity. The total number of patients affected in this incident exceeded 170, making it the largest epidemic of its kind in the recent history of Alabama.

Conclusion:  The outbreak in Shelby County was caused by an exceedingly rare species of Salmonella. At this time, it is the only outbreak of Salmonella bredeney reported in MEDLINE-accessible literature since 1983.

Objectives:  To employ a combination of phenotypic and genotypic subspecies typing methods to aid in an epidemiological investigation of an outbreak of Salmonella bredeney involving ten persons.

Methods:  Isolates were characterized by employing antibiogram typing, in addition to two genotyping techniques, including pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), random amplification of polymorphic DNA (RAPD) with two oligonucleotide primers.

Results:  An outbreak of gastroenteritis associated with Salmonella bredeney (serovar O:4 H:Lv 1,7) occurred in Belfast, Northern Ireland in November 1997. In total, ten cases were confirmed, of which eight had consumed chicken cooked at local butchers and retailed through one of two local bakeries. One of the remaining cases was secondarily infected within her home and the final case had eaten a product other than cooked chicken from one of the bakeries. Food preparation practices were inadequate in one of the bakeries in question and record keeping and possibly cooking procedures were inadequate in the butchers. Salmonella bredeney was isolated from an uncooked chicken supplied to the butchers confirming that improperly cooked chicken was most likely the source of the outbreak. All outbreak clinical isolates were indistinguishable from each other and were similar to the isolate obtained from the uncooked poultry demonstrating that these DNA-based methods were valuable in the molecular characterization of Salmonella bredeney

Conclusions:  This report emphasizes the importance and maintenance of an effective hazard analysis critical control point (HACCP) approach to the processing and retailing of foodstuffs containing chicken in order to help eliminate hazards to public health.