The FDA expanded its peanut butter recall to over 100 products. Peanut butter produced by Sunland, Inc. is the source of the contaminated peanut butter.
Last week Trader Joe’s brand peanut butter was recalled, and now this week it has been expanded to more than 100 Sunland, Inc products containing peanuts, nuts or seeds sold nationally in many other supermarkets.
Officials at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said companies initiating related-recalls include Chattanooga Bakery Inc., Falcon Trading Company/SunRidge Farms, Gretchen Shoebox Express and Whole Foods Market.
The FDA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and state and local public health officials are investigating a multi-state outbreak of Salmonella linked to Trader Joe’s Valencia Creamy Salted Peanut Butter.
The CDC said 30 people were infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Bredeney from 19 states. Four were hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.
The illnesses were traced to Valencia Creamy Salted Peanut Butter produced by Sunland Inc. of Portales, N.M. All people who suffered salmonella poisoning that were interviewed report shopping at Trader Joe’s locations across the U.S. 86% of the salmonella suffers report eating Trader Joe’s Creamy Salted Valencia Peanut Butter made with sea salt in the week before becoming ill.
Sunland Inc. voluntarily recalled peanut butter and almond butter products that were manufactured on the same product line as Trader Joe’s Valencia Creamy Salted Peanut Butter from May 1 to Sept. 24. So far the only product directly linked to the outbreak is Trader Joe’s peanut butter, said Sunland vice president Katalin Coburn.
As a precaution, Sunland expanded the recall to include almond butter, peanut butter, cashew butter, tahini (sesame seed butter) and roasted blanched peanut products under various names manufactured between May 1 and Sept. 24. The products were distributed nationally to large supermarket chains under the Sunland and store brand labels and were sold online.
All the products were made on the same production line. Because the source of the contamination isn’t known, “we could not take the risk of jeopardizing anyone,” Coburn said.
Consumers should not eat the recalled products. This is especially important for children age 5 and under, elderly adults and people with weak immune systems…Consumers should dispose of the product or return the product to the store where it was purchased.
Infection with the salmonella bacteria can cause salmonellosis, an illness that can mean serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and those with weakened immune systems.
In healthy people it can cause fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. It’s unknown how or whether the peanuts were contaminated. If they were, poor manufacturing processes or insufficient roasting could have been the cause, said Michael Doyle, director of the Center for Food Safety at the University of Georgia in Griffin.
In 2008, as many as nine people died and more than 700 people in 46 states were sickened by peanut butter and other products made by Peanut Corporation of America. No national brand was involved, but more than 125 products were recalled.
Peanut Butter Recall Products Produced In Unsanitary Conditions
An FDA inspection of the plants that produced the company’s products found them to be filthy and infested with birds and rodents. Until then, U.S. food safety experts had not considered peanut butter a high-risk food.[hr]