By CBSLA Staff

MONROVIA (CBSLA) – Federal officials Saturday warned the public not to eat a salami product sold at Trader Joe’s stores.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised consumers to avoid eating Citterio brand Premium Italian-Style Salame Sticks after the product was linked to a salmonella outbreak in California and seven other states.

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Twenty illnesses and three hospitalizations potentially associated with the product are being investigated.

“Nine people were interviewed about foods they ate before getting sick, and eight reported eating or maybe eating this product,” the CDC said. “Investigators are still working to determine if additional products may be contaminated.”

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The agency said people should not eat the product with any best-by date, and should throw them away. People were also advised to wash items and containers that may have touched the product using hot soapy water or a dishwasher.

The CDC said Trader Joe’s has voluntarily stopped selling the product in its stores nationwide until more is learned. The sticks also might be sold at other stores, according to the CDC.

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Trader Joe’s was founded in Pasadena in 1967. The company is headquartered in Monrovia.