Product Safety Alert

We Had No Idea We Were Poisoning Ourselves – Family’s Monday Sickness Mystery Solved

Every Monday morning, for nine weeks, someone in Kelsey’s household has woken up with what they called a Monday sickness. Intense fevers. Stomach cramps. Diarrhoea.

The first Monday, it was Kelsey who was sick. The next Monday, it was her husband and oldest son. Some Mondays, more than one family member would be sick. Most of the time it was her son and husband who were the worst.

But it was always the same – fevers, stomach cramps, diarrhea. And always on a Monday. 

A bad case of the Mondays

Kelsey shared her story of her family’s Monday sickness on TikTok, revealing what was actually going on. It turns out, Kelsey’s husband was accidentally poisoning his family every Sunday morning. 

“We started getting what we called ‘the Monday sickies’ – we could not figure out why we were sick and why only on Mondays. We rotated who was sick each week for the past nine weeks.”

Kelsey visited the doctors several times during those nine weeks but, as the sickness only lasted for a day or two, the doctors thought it was a virus that the family kept passing back and forth.

Kelsey spent nine weeks cleaning the house and avoiding seeing people to help stop the spread. 

“We didn’t invite anyone over for two months. We didn’t see anyone for two months as we thought we’d get them sick… my son missed so much preschool.”

‘The peanut butter!’ 

Kelsey finally figured out what was going on when she took her youngest child to the emergency for unrelated breathing issues.

Her baby was fine, thank goodness, but before Kelsey left, she quickly explained to a doctor about the Monday illness and asked if they had any idea what it could be. 

“He said I have never heard of that… then his eyes lit up and he goes, ‘the peanut butter’,” Kelsey said. 

You see, a few weeks after the Monday illness started, there was a salmonella outbreak in several Jif peanut butter products (a popular peanut butter brand in America). 

Jif Peanut Butter poisoning - Monday sickness
Source: Allen Burger and Associates

When Kelsey heard of the recall, she immediately checked her peanut butter stash to see if their peanut butter was one of the recalled jars. It wasn’t. Kelsey assumed she didn’t have any other Jif peanut butter products in her home, until her husband explained that, yes, they did.

Jif peanut butter snack cups.

Pancakes served with a side of salmonella

Kelsey didn’t even realise they were in the back of the pantry but her husband was well aware of them. And had been eating them for weeks. Nine weeks exactly – the same amount of time the Monday illness had plagued the family. 

Monday sickness mystery solved
The salmonella PB cups. Source: TikTok

“I had no idea they were there… but sure enough they were contaminated with salmonella,” Kelsey said.

You see, every Sunday morning, Kelsey’s husband would use the peanut butter cups as an ingredient in their pancakes. Kelsey was usually asleep so didn’t even realise it but would eat the leftovers when she woke up. 

“The reason none of us ever caught it is because we were using the snack size, so it was never enough to send us to the hospital – but it was just enough to make us sick.”

 

The family binned the peanut butter cups, swapped to something else for Sunday breakfast, and have been fine since. Kelsye’s video of her discovery gained 1.9 million views, with many TikTokers commenting that they experienced the same symptoms.

Product recalls can be easy to miss. Take a look at some of the most recent product recalls n Australia and read our food safety guide here. 

Avatar of Jenna Galley

Born and raised in Canada, Jenna now lives in Far North Queensland with her tribe. When the mum-of-three is not writing, you can find her floating in the pool, watching princess movies, frolicking on the beach, bouncing her baby to sleep or nagging her older kids to put on their pants.

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