(CNN) -- The possible discovery of salmonella has prompted a limited recall of Skippy reduced-fat peanut butter spreads sold in 16 states, its parent company announced.
Unilever issued a press release Friday detailing a voluntary recall of Skippy's "Reduced Fat Creamy" and "Reduced Fat Super Chunk" brands. The recall applies only to these branded items distributed in Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.
While there have been no known illnesses, the recall was issued for fear that some of the peanut butter now in stores had salmonella.
The press release said that Unilever acted after inspectors conducting "routine sampling" found that "finished products may contain the bacteria." There was no indication of where exactly the contamination was found, its severity or what steps were being taken to address it beyond the recall.
The recalled products are sold in 16.3-ounce plastic jars, have UPC codes of 048001006812 or 048001006782 and have best-if-used-by-dates of May 16-21, 2012, on the top, the company statement said. Those with such jars should throw them away and call Skippy at 1-800-453-3432 to get a replacement coupon, according to Unilever.
The Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey-based company issued the recall in conjunction with the Food and Drug Administration, which posted a copy of Unilever's statement on its government website.
Salmonella is a bacterial infection that usually lasts four to seven days. About 40,000 cases of salmonellosis are reported each year in the United States, according to the CDC.
Those who get it typically develop fever, abdominal cramps and diarrhea between 12 and 72 hours after becoming infected. Most people recover on their own, without needing significant treatment. But salmonella in very young and very old people, as well as those with weakened immune systems, can lead to severe illness and even death.
The CDC recommends that anyone suspecting he or she may be ill from eating contaminated food should talk to a doctor.