Jif Class Action Lawsuit Filed Over Peanut Butter Salmonella Outbreak

Lawsuit alleges consumers expect Jif peanut butter to be high quality, leading them to be blindsided by the salmonella outbreak.

J.M. Smucker Company faces a Jif class action lawsuit brought on behalf of consumers nationwide who were impacted by the recent peanut butter recalls, which were issued after a salmonella food poisoning outbreak emerged last month.

The company first disclosed that a variety of Jif peanut butter products may be tainted with salmonella only three weeks ago, impacting over 40 different products. However, since that time, recalls have been expanded several times to include a variety of other brands and products that contained the same contaminated peanut butter.

In a complaint (PDF) filed June 8 in the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina, plaintiff Cameron Bopp seeks to establish a class action for all individuals nationwide who purchased Jif peanut butter products sold between February 2022 and May 2022.

While Bopp did not fall ill from the peanut butter, he indicates that all consumers should receive refunds and compensation for other economic damages that resulted from the purchases of the recalled Jif products

“Jif peanut butter is one of the nation’s leading producers of what is considered to be high quality, safe peanut butter,” Bopp’s lawsuit states. “Consumers expect, when they purchase Jif peanut butter products, they are purchasing safe and health peanut butter. This is especially true of Jif peanut butter products, which are advertised as using high quality products.”

The Jif class action includes claims against Smucker for negligence, breach of warranties, fraudulent concealment and unjust enrichment.

Jif Peanut Butter Salmonella Food Poisoning

Smucker already faces a growing number of individual food poisoning lawsuits brought on behalf of consumers diagnosed with salmonella through a blood, urine or fecal sample after eating one of the recalled products, and the company has already estimated that the Jif recall will cost over $125 million, due to manufacturing disruptions and destroyed products.

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At the time the recall was first announced on May 20, federal health officials reported that there were already at least 16 salmonella poisoning cases linked to the peanut butter, which were spread across 12 states, including two infections that were severe enough to require hospitalization. However, the number of reported illnesses has continued to mount as individuals diagnosed with salmonella poisoning in recent months discovery that the problems may be caused by Jif peanut butter.

Salmonella food poisoning can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children and elderly people, or those with weakened immune systems. Symptoms of Salmonella infection include fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.

In some cases, the bacteria can travel into the bloodstream and lead to more severe illness such as aneurysm, endocarditis, and arthritis. Generally healthy people recover from Salmonella infection in about seven to 10 days.

To date, the FDA and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are actively monitoring the Jif peanut butter salmonella outbreak, and are warning consumer to stop consuming and discard any potentially contaminated peanut butter products that have been recalled.


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