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Peanut Products Recall Expands

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According to Food Safety News (FSN), a Boulder, Colorado, company is among those recalling peanut products across the U.S. since Sunland Inc. expanded its “massive” peanut butter recall to include packages of raw and roasted peanuts because of an outbreak of food poisoning that JoNel Aleccia reports for NBC News has made nearly three dozen people ill.

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) press release says:

The expanded recall covers all previously identified Peanut Butter, Almond Butter, Cashew Butter, and Tahini products as well as Roasted Blanched Peanut Products. New product categories being added to the list are several varieties of flavored butters and spreads, including Thai Ginger Butter, Chocolate Butter and Banana Butter.

The Boulder company is Justin’s, which expanded its voluntary recall of items made with Sunland products to include ones made with Sunland’s whole peanuts, as FSN writes:

‘Justin’s was notified by our contract manufacturer, Fresca Foods, Inc. located in Louisville, CO that Sunland peanuts were and may have been used in the production of certain peanut butter products in the past, therefore Justin’s is voluntarily participating in the recall,’ said the company in its recall notice.

The affected Justin’s products were distributed nationally to supermarket chains and were available for purchase on the internet from March 23, 2010 through September 26, 2012. The Natural Honey Peanut Butter .5oz Squeeze Packs included in this recall were sold at Starbucks in its Protein Bistro Box.

You can see a full list of Justin’s recalled products here. FSN notes that the ‘best-by” dates appear to the left of the universal product code on jars, or on the back of squeeze packs, top seal, and the back seals of the peanut butter cups.

Schuyler Velasco writes in The Christian Science Monitor that Sunland — the Portales, New Mexico-based manufacturer and distributor which was pinpointed as the initial source of the food poisoning — has expanded its original recall to 71 more products from its peanuts processing plant. Affected brands include Sunland, Natural Value, Valencia, The Nut Shop, and Treasured Harvest. Sunland’s press release on the Food and Drug Administration website says recalled packages “are within their current shelf life or had no expiration date,” as Velasco reports.

The recall, Velasco writes, started in late September with one brand of peanut butter sold at Trader Joe’s and soon expanded to include more than 100 items sold at several national grocery chains, including Whole Foods Market and Stop and Shop. Of the 35 people in 19 states who have become ill in the salmonella outbreak, eight have been hospitalized, but no deaths have been reported, Velasco writes. The CDC says that 63% of those who became ill are children under the age of 10.

Velasco goes on to report:

Previously, all of Sunland’s recalled products had come from the same building at the company’s Portales manufacturing facility.  But the raw and roasted peanuts raise further concerns because they are manufactured in a separate building. Both the Peanut Processing Plant and the Peanut Butter Plant have been shut down and are being investigated by the FDA.

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.

The CDC gives the following advice to consumers who might have purchased any of the recalled products:

Based on available information, CDC recommends that consumers do not eat recalled peanut butter and other products containing nuts and seeds and dispose of any remaining jars of these products in the home or return the jars to the place of purchase.

This is especially important for children under the age of 5 years, older adults, and people with weak immune systems. […]

Persons who think they might have become ill from eating possibly contaminated peanut butter or other products containing nuts and seeds should consult their health care providers. Symptoms include:

  • Diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection.
  • The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most persons recover without treatment.

[See Signs and Symptoms for more information.]


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