Peanut Butter, Almond Butter Recalls Expanded Due to Salmonella

What was originally reported as only a recall for Trader Joe’s peanut butter, has been expanded to include about 100 different brands of nut products manufactured by Sunland, Inc., which have been linked to a food poisoning outbreak involving 30 people nationwide infected with salmonella Bredeney

On September 24, Sunland Inc. expanded its peanut butter recall (pdf) to include almond butter, cashew butter, Tahini and roasted blanched peanut products. Sunland supplied Creamy Salted Valencia Peanut Butter to Trader Joe’s, which was recalled on September 22.

Sunland reports that the additional recalled nut products were processed on the same machinery as the Trader Joe’s peanut butter, which may have caused contamination with the rare strain of salmonella Bredeney.

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At least 29 cases of salmonella food poisoning involving this strain have been identified in 18 states, with all of the illnesses occurring between June 11 and September 2.

The expanded peanut butter and almond butter recall affects about 100 Sunland nut products sold under a variety of labels, including Fresh & Easy; Naturally More; Heinen’s; Sprouts Farmers Market and Serious Food, Silly Prices. The products were manufactured between May 1, 2012 and September 24, 2012, with “Best-If-Used-By” dates between May 1, 2013, and September 24, 2013. The expiration dates are stamped on the side of the jar’s label below the lid.

Salmonella is a type of bacteria that attacks the gastrointestinal tract, causing mild to severe food poisoning. While most healthy adults typically recover from salmonella food poisoning after a few days or weeks, the infection may pose a particularly high risk for young children, the elderly, and individuals with compromised immune systems. In severe cases, salmonella Bredeney food poisoning may lead to hospitalization, dehydration or death.

Two of the most prominent salmonella outbreaks in recent years were linked to contaminated peanuts and peanut butter products.  In 2008-2009, a massive recall was issued after more than 800 cases of salmonella and at least 9 deaths were tied to the peanut butter and peanuts processed by Peanut Corporation of America, which were reportedly contaminated due to bad sanitation practices at the manufacturing plant.  Another recall was issued in 2007, for millions of jars of Con Agra peanut butter, after more than 625 people developed salmonella from Great Value and Peter Pan peanut butter.

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