Recalled Peanut Butter May Have Tainted Cookies, Bars, Other Products

Following a recall for peanut butter and other nut products issued last week by Sunland, Inc., due to a risk of salmonella contamination, a growing number of other products are being recalled because they have peanuts or peanut paste processed at the same plant, including spreads, cookies, bars and many other products. 

On September 29, Trader Joe’s recalled peanut butter sold under the store’s Creamy Salted Valencia brand, amid reports of at least 33 cases of food poisoning involving salmonella Bredeney that may have been linked to the product.

Later that same week, about 100 different brands of nut products and peanut butters were recalled by Sunland, Inc., the manufacturer that supplied Trader Joe’s Creamy Salted Valencia Peanut Butter. These products (PDF) have reportedly been used by a number of other manufacturers, leading to a growing number of recalled peanut butter products.

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Over the past week, nearly a dozen individual recalls have been issued by companies that manufactured and sold products that contained the recalled peanut butter.

The growing list of products include Whole Foods peanut butter cookies; Oregon Ice Cream products, including Alden’s Peanut Butter ‘n Chip, Cascade Glacier Chocolate Peanut Butter ice creams; Harry and David Crunchy Almond and Peanut Butter, as well as Peanut Spreads included as part of snack boxes, gift baskets and other multi-component food items; Fairytale Brownies peanut butter sprites and peanut butter cookies; Jer’s Chocolates Gourmet Peanut Butter Bars and Squares; Evolution Fresh Almond Butter sandwiches; Sunridge Farms Energy Nuggest and Peanut Butter Power Chews; Chattanooga Bakery, MoonPie and LookOut Peanut Butter Crunch products; Justin’s Peanut Butter single-serve packs and others that may be issued in the coming days.

Last month the first food poisoning lawsuit over the recalled peanut butter was filed on behalf of a minor in North Carolina, who allegedly became sick with salmonella after eating a product made by Sunland Inc.

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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