Monday, October 1, 2012

Peanut Butter Recall Continues to Expand

The Sunland peanut butter recall that was linked to the Trader Joe’s Peanut Butter Salmonella outbreak continues to expand. Sunland is recalling about 100 different products. This has also triggered other recalls where companies have used this product as an ingredient. To date, only the Trader Joe’s product has been linked to illnesses. From the website – 
Sunland, Inc. today announced an expansion of its voluntary recall of its Almond Butter and Peanut Butter, to include its Cashew Butter, Tahini and Roasted Blanched Peanut Products. This recall is limited to products manufactured between May 1, 2012 and September 24, 2012.
While there has been no word as to the direct cause, we know that Salmonella has been a troublesome issue for nut based products. For one, Salmonella is much more heat resistant in dry products. While in moist products such as meat and bread, Salmonella can be eliminated with lower temperatures. In dry products such as nuts, temperatures in the 230F range are needed. So there have been issues with nut processors under-processing nuts resulting in Salmonella contaminated product. Another issue is that Salmonella can survive in dry environments for extended periods of time. So if Salmonella contaminates the process environment, it can remain there for months. Being around for a long time, Salmonella can then have extended opportunity to contaminate the product. Facilities can have a difficult time eliminating Salmonella contamination once it gains a foothold in a processing plant.

So why does this recall continue to expand?    If they can't decisively link the contamination to one lot of product, it will mean there is the possibility that more product may be contaminated.  So out of abundance of caution, companies will recall any products that were made in this facility, whether as an ingredient or as a finished product. This includes all products, both nut and seed based items. The latest recalls include peanut butter crackers and Crisp Mix.  (See Below)

If consumers have any of the recalled product, they should either dispose of the product or return to the store where they purchased it.

Peanut butter recall linked to salmonella illnesses now includes major retailers
By Associated Press, Updated: Monday, October 1, 11:57 AM Printed in Washington Post.com

WASHINGTON — A New Mexico company has expanded its recall of peanut butter and almond butter to include cashew butters, tahini and blanched and roasted peanut products.

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

The federal Center for Disease Control and Prevention says 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 recalled other products manufactured on the same equipment as the Trader Joe’s product.

In addition to Trader Joe’s, the recall includes nut products sold at Whole Foods Market, Target, Fresh & Easy, Giant Food, Harry and 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 Power, Sprouts Farmers Market, Sprout’s, Sunland and Dogsbutter, among others.

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 Sept. 11, 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 and abdominal cramps 12 hours to 72 hours after infection. It is most dangerous to children, the elderly and others with weak immune systems.

FDA Investigates Multistate Outbreak of Salmonella Bredeney Infections Possibly Linked to Trader Joe's Valencia Creamy Salted Peanut Butter
Posted September 30, 2012

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local officials are investigating a multi-state outbreak of Salmonella Bredeney infections. We are moving quickly to learn as much as possible and prevent additional people from becoming ill. We recognize that people will be concerned about this outbreak, and we will continue to provide updates and advice. 

What is the Problem and What is Being Done?

The FDA’s top priority is protecting consumers and ensuring the safety of our food supply. The FDA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state and local public health officials are investigating a multi-state outbreak of Salmonella Bredeney infections possibly linked to Trader Joe’s Valencia Creamy Salted Peanut Butter, with a Stock Keeping Unit (SKU) identifier of 97111. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports a total of 30 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Bredeney from 19 states.

Once 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 investigations. On September 20, FDA, the CDC and the state of California briefed Trader Joe’s on the status of the investigation, and the company volunteered to remove the suspected product from their store shelves. Trader Joe’s has also posted a customer advisory on their internet page and
initiated a recall13.

As part of its investigation, FDA contacted Sunland Inc., which makes Trader Joe’s Valencia Creamy Salted Peanut Butter. On September 23, FDA and CDC briefed Sunland Inc. on the status of the investigation and the company volunteered to recall the almond butter and peanut butter products that were manufactured on the same product line as Trader Joe’s Valencia Creamy Salted Peanut Butter between May 1 and September 24, 2012.

On the evening of September 24, Sunland Inc. expanded their recall to about 100 products, which include peanut butter and other products made with nuts and seeds. A list of those products can be found in the
company's recall announcement14.

As the investigation progresses we will keep the public informed.

What Do Consumers Need To Do?

Consumers should not eat the recalled products. This is especially important for children under the age of 5 years, elderly adults, and people with weak immune systems. Consumers should dispose of the product or return the product to the store where they purchased it.

What is Being Recalled?

Trader Joe’s Valencia Creamy Salted Peanut Butter is sold at Trader Joe's grocery stores nationwide and on the internet. Sunland Inc. products are distributed nationally via supermarket chains.

As a convenience, FDA has provided a list of products recalled by Sunland Inc., as found on the company’s press releases. The recall is limited to the products listed below that have “Best-If-Used-By” dates between May 1, 2013 and September 24, 2013. The “Best-If-Used-By” dates are stamped on the side of the jar’s label below the lid. Sunland Inc. has advised consumers to return the product to the supermarket of purchase or to dispose of it.

 Please see the
company's recall announcement15 for the most updated list of recalled products.

There have been a number of recalls related to the expanded Sunland Inc. recall of products which include peanut butter and other products made with nuts and seeds. Among those companies initiating related recalls are
Chattanooga Bakery Inc.1, Fairytale Brownies2, Falcon Trading Company/SunRidge Farms3, Giant Food,4 5 Gretchen Shoebox Express6, Harry and David7, Jer's Chocolates8, Justin's9, Late July Snacks10, Oregon Ice Cream Company11, Stop & Shop Supermarket Company12 and Whole Foods Market.

The following companies have informed FDA and the public of related recalls. Please see the news release links below for product specifics and recall dates:
Chattanooga Bakery Inc.16 - Peanut Butter Crunch products Fairytale Brownies17 - Peanut Butter Brownies, Peanut Butter Sprites oand Peanut Butter Cookies Falcon Trading Company/SunRidge Farms18 - Sunridge Candy Energy Nuggets; Sunridge Candy Peanut Butter Power Chews; and Sunridge Snack Mix Treasure Trove Mix Giant Food19 - Mini Peanut Butter Sandwich Crackers Gretchen Shoebox Express20 - Evolution Fresh Brand Cinnamon Apple & Almond Butter Sandwiches and Evolution Fresh Brand Almond Butter Harry and David21 - Crunchy Almond and Peanut Butter, Creamy Banana Peanut Spread, Creamy Raspberry Peanut Spread and gift baskets containing these items Jer's Chocolates22 - Gourmet Peanut Butter Bars and Gourmet Jer's Squares Justin's23 - Classic Peanut Butter Jars and Honey Peanut Butter Squeeze Packs Late July Snacks24 25- Mini Peanut Butter Sandwich Crackers Oregon Ice Cream Company26 - Alden's Peanut Butter 'n Chip Ice Cream and Cascade Glacier Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream Stop & Shop Supermarket Company27 - Late July Organic Snacks Mini Peanut Butter Sandwich Crackers
Whole Foods Market - Several
varieties of cookies28 containing peanut butter, Peanut Butter Power Chews and Treasure Trove Mix 29


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