Soy nut butter is an alternative to peanut butter for people who have allergies, or for schools and child care facilities that have been declared peanut-free zones due to students’ allergies. However, a product meant to keep people safe is endangering their lives in a different way, after 12 people, mostly children, became infected with E. coli from the nut butter.
Specifically, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that 11 out of the 12 infected people are under 18 years old. Half of them have been hospitalized, and four of them have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a potentially fatal form of kidney failure. HUS is a complication of E. coli infection that’s most common in children, the elderly, and people with compromised immune systems. Fortunately, none of the patients to date have died.
What should you look for? The potentially contaminated product is I.M. Healthy brand creamy SoyNut Butter. Consumers are most likely to have the jars at home, and the 4-pound foodservice package is sold to schools and child care facilities. The company also sells single-serve cups of the butter.
Here are the Best By dates that you should look for:
Jars: July 5, 2018, Aug. 30, 2018, and Aug. 31, 2018
Tubs: Nov. 16, 2018 and July 25, 2018
Single-Serve Cups: August 8, 2018
If you have the butter in your home, you should bring it back to the store for a refund. If you decide to throw it out on your own instead, make sure that the jar is sealed and thrown away in a sealed bag to keep trash-scavenging animals from eating the product.
The CDC specifically warns consumers not to just go ahead and eat products if they’ve already made a few sandwiches and no one in the household has become sick yet.
The symptoms of E. coli infection include stomach cramps, diarrhea (sometimes bloody), and vomiting. You can get sick between one and 10 days after eating contaminated food,
If you have any questions about the product or about this recall, contact the company at 800-288-1012.