U.S. Peanut Butter Recall Expands to More Stores and More Items

A few months ago, we reported on the peanut butter recall that began in late September at Trader Joe’s. This recall just keeps expanding.

The latest news is that actual peanut butter made by Sunland has tested positive for the presence of salmonella bacteria.  The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found actual bacteria in the actual peanut butter.

It turns out that peanut butter manufactured at Sunland’s New Mexico plant from as far back as March 2010 could possibly contain salmonella.

A total of 240 different products are now subject to the peanut butter recall. The products were sold at major grocery chains including Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Target and Stop & Shop. The leading brands of peanut butter including Skippy, Jif and Peter Pan are not manufactured by Sunland, and therefore, no affected by this recall.

A total of 35 people in 19 states are reported to have become ill with salmonella after eating the contaminating peanut butter.

Recently, Sunland has expanded its recall of peanut butter and almond butter to include cashew butters, tahini and blanched and roasted peanut products, 76 products at a time.

Sunland, Inc. sells its nuts and nut butters to large groceries and other food distributors around the country. After salmonella illnesses were linked to Trader Joe’s Creamy Salted Valencia Peanut Butter, one of the brands manufactured by Sunland, the company recalled products under multiple brand names.

The Federal Center for Disease Control and Prevention said there are now 30 illnesses in 19 states that can be traced to the Trader Joe’s peanut butter. No other foods have been linked to the illnesses but Sunland recall other products manufactured on the same equipment as Trader Joe’s products.

In addition to Trader Joe’s, the recall includes nut products sold at Whole Food Market, Target, Fresh & Easy, Giant Food, Harry & David, Stop & Shop Supermarket Company and several other stores. Some of the stores used Sunland ingredients in items they prepared and packaged themselves.

Brand names recalled include Archer Farms, Earth Balance, Fresh & Easy, Late July, Heinen’s, Joseph’s, Natural Value, Naturally More, Open Nature, Peanut Power Butter, Serious Food, Snaclite, Sprouts Farmers Market, Sprout’s, Sunland and Dogsbutter, among others.

New products recalled include varieties of cookies sold at Whole Foods that contain peanut butter, peanut butter cracker snacks sold at Stop & Shop supermarkets, and various ice cream and chocolate snack products.

Sunland’s recall includes 101 products and several retailers have issued additional recalls including items made with Sunland ingredients.

Those sickened reported becoming ill between June 11 and September 11th, according to the CDC. Almost two thirds of those who became ill were children under the age of 10. No deaths have been reported.

Salmonella can cause diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramps 12 hours to 72 hours after infection. It is most dangerous to children, the elderly and those with weak immune systems.

“Once the FDA became involved in this fast-moving outbreak investigation, we began coordinating and working closely with the CDC and several state health departments, which have been leading their own investigation,” according to the FDA’s website.

The peanut processing plant in New Mexico was shut down after the outbreak of salmonella was linked to peanut butter made at the facility. The Sunland Inc., plant was scrubbed and sanitized top to bottom and tests were being conducted to see whether any bacteria was present on the plant’s equipment.

Consumers who have purchased any of the affected products should dispose of it or return it to the store where it was purchased.

The FDA said that it would continue to keep the public informed on this matter.

Contact one of our Gacovino Lake attorneys at 1-800-246-HURT (4878).

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