WASHINGTON, Sept. 23 (UPI) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it was looking into a possible multistate outbreak of salmonella contamination linked to Trader Joe's peanut butter.
The specific peanut butter is the Valencia Creamy Salted Peanut butter made with sea salt, which the California-based grocery chain has already removed from its shelves.
The FDA said the particular salmonella strain in question – Salmonella Berdeney -- has been linked to 29 infections in 18 states.
"Once FDA became involved in this fast-moving outbreak investigation, we began coordinating with the Centers for Disease Control and several state health departments, which have been leading their own investigations," the FDA said in a written statement.
Salmonella bacteria can cause fever, cramps and serious diarrhea. The bacteria can also enter the blood stream where it can be fatal, the agency said.
Trader Joe's issued a written statement Saturday urging customers to either throw the peanut butter away or bring it back to their local store for a refund.