October 16, 2012
Federal Regulators Expand Sunland Peanut Butter Recall To Include All Nuts
Lawrence LeBlond for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
Retail outlets across the country had removed Sunland nutty spreads from their store shelves following a recall of the company´s peanut butter and other nut butters last month. The recall came after 35 people were sickened in 19 states from salmonella-contaminated peanut butter manufactured by the New Mexico-based peanut processor.
The recall, which was first announced late last month in peanut butter sold at Trader Joe℠s retail outlets, has now been expanded to include all peanut butters and raw and roasted peanuts marketed by Sunland Inc., the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said in a statement on its site, adding that Sunland has halted all production at its butter and peanut processing facilities and has issued voluntary recalls on its products.
The move came after FDA investigators looking into the contaminated peanut butter inspected Sunland´s production line and found salmonella identical (based on DNA tests) to the strain that caused last month´s outbreak.
The list of affected products is continuing to grow, with more than 70 products added to Sunland's list of recalled items, including all nuts and peanut butters, as well as nutty spreads the company manufacturer´s for brands such as Trader Joe´s, Archer Farms, Treasured Harvest, and Natural Value.
The FDA has also released a list of recalled products that includes more than 400 product recalls from various retailers, as well as Sunland. The FDA list also shows recalls for products such as cookies, ice cream, and chocolate. Also, a statement on the FDA´s recall site states that the recalled packages “are within their current shelf life or had no expiration date,” according to Sunland.
The Sunland statement read: “The raw and roasted peanuts available to retail customers were distributed primarily under the Company´s own label ... primarily to produce houses and nationally to numerous large retail chains“¦The products also were available for purchase on the internet. The roasted and roasted/salted peanuts being recalled were distributed during the six month period prior to the recall date (April 12, 2012 — October 12, 2012), and will have best by/expiration dates on the packaging from October 12, 2012 through April 12, 2013. The raw peanuts being recalled (shelled and in-shell), were distributed during the twelve months prior to the recall date (October 12, 2011 — October 12, 2012), and will have either best by dates from October 12, 2012 through October 12, 2013 on the packaging, or a “Crop Year” marking on the package of 2011 or 2012, up to and including October 12, 2012.”
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in its own statement that of the 35 cases of salmonella poisoning, eight have been hospitalized, but to date, there have been no deaths associated with this outbreak.
Salmonella usually causes diarrhea, fever and abdominal pain. It can be fatal for old people, young children and people with weakened immune systems.
Health experts have also urged California schools to destroy any and all peanut butter being recalled by the Sunland manufacturer, to avoid possible sickness and death. As of last Friday, the California Department of Education said there were no reported cases of salmonella in their school children.
The recall has also depleted food banks of peanut butter supplies, which have received more than 23,000 cases of the affected product.
Customers with recalled products should throw them away or return them for a full refund. Those seeking further information can call Sunland 24 hours a day at 1-866-837-1018.
Alternatively, leading brands such as Skippy, Jif and Peter Pan are not included in the recall and are safe to eat and feed to children.