Jif ads reassure public of product's safety

J.M. Smucker, maker of Jif Peanut Butter, has rolled out a major marketing campaign to cope with the confusion over the spreading recall of unrelated peanut butter products.

Smucker's is running ads in 100 markets this week telling consumers that "Jif Peanut Butter, like all the products from The J.M. Smucker Company, is safe to enjoy." Similar ads also ran last week.

Jif Peanut Butter is made at the Smucker's plant in Lexington, which has been unaffected by the recall, according to Smucker's spokeswoman Maribeth Badertscher.

The Food and Drug Administration recall of hundreds of products has been caused by the discovery in January of salmonella-tainted ingredients made by Peanut Corporation of America, which is now under criminal investigation.

Badertscher said Smucker's does not use any peanuts or ingredients from PCA and conducts its own quality testing.

But that hasn't stopped peanut butter buyers from worrying. The company won't comment on specific sales numbers, but Badertscher said Jif's call center had received a record 40,000 calls and their Web site had gotten more than 300,000 visits since the scare began.

"There's a lot of confusion about what might be part of the recall, and we want to let them know our brands are not impacted," she said. Smucker's peanut butter-related brands include Jif, Smucker's Natural, Smucker's Uncrustables, Adams, and Laura Scudder's.

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