29 cases of illness may be linked to salmonella-tainted peanut butter

(CNN) -- The Pennsylvania Department of Health and Massachusetts Department of Public Health and Rhode Island Department of Health announced Friday that Trader Joe's Valencia Creamy Salted Peanut Butter made with sea salt may be linked to 29 cases of Salmonella Bredeney across multiple states.

Trader Joe's has voluntarily recalled the peanut butter in question - Trader Joe's brand Valencia Creamy Salted Peanut Butter made with sea salt, with use by dates of 5/23/2013 and 6/28/2013 - and advises consumers who may have the product in their homes to discard it. The product is also available through online retailers.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health said it is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and public health officials in several states to investigate the outbreak and advises consumers who have recently eaten the product and become ill with diarrhea or vomiting to consult with their healthcare provider. No samples have yet tested positive for Salmonella Bredeney.

Foodborne illness prevention

The United States Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) provides these recommendations for preventing Salmonellosis

- Wash hands with warm soapy water for 20 seconds before and after handling food and after using the bathroom, changing diapers, and handling pets.

- Wash utensils, cutting boards, dishes, and countertops with hot soapy water after preparing each food item and before you go on to the next item.

- Consider using paper towels to clean kitchen surfaces. If you use cloth towels, wash them often in the hot cycle of your washing machine.

Fast facts on salmonella

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that people in a normal state of health who ingest Salmonella-tainted food may experience diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps, which typically begin within 12 to 72 hours. This may be accompanied by vomiting, chills, headache and muscle pains. These symptoms may last about four to seven days, and then go away without specific treatment, but left unchecked, Salmonella infection may spread to the bloodstream and beyond and may cause death if the person is not treated promptly with antibiotics.

Children, the elderly, and people with compromised immune symptoms should practice extreme caution, as salmonellosis may lead to severe illness or even death