Salmonella Outbreak Worsens; Peanut Butter Recall Continues to Grow

More than 240 peanut butter and other nut products are now on the recall list, which includes items from Walmart, Target and Trader Joe's. The FDA reports a "fast-moving outbreak" of salmonella-induced sickness with one case in Minnesota.

The nationwide peanut butter recall is quickly expanding and a variety of nut products have now been added to the list—from chews and cookies to tahini and gelato.

Responding to what it called a "fast-moving outbreak" of salmonella-caused sickness in at least 19 states, including one in Minnesota, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Friday that the company recall of nut butter products made by Sunland, Inc. and sold under many labels has more than doubled to at least 240 products.

The recall list includes a variety of Sunland peanut butter products as well as almond butter, cashew butter, tahini, and roasted blanched peanut products. Other companies have alerted the FDA about related recalls affecting various nut and seed products.

The following brands have items on the recall list:

Sunland Inc. Related Recalls American Choice
Archer Farms
Arrowhead Mills
Cadia All Natural
Earth Balance
Fresh & Easy
Harry & David
Multiple Organics
Natural Value
Naturally More
Open Nature
Peanut Power
Serious Food Silly Prices
Sun Harvest
Trader Joe's
Tropical Traditions

Chattanooga Bakery Inc.
Fairytale Brownies
Falcon Trading Company/SunRidge Farms
Giant Food
Gretchen's Shoebox Express
Jer's Chocolates
Late July Snacks
Newman's Own Organics
Oregon Ice Cream Company
Stop & Shop Supermarket Company
Whole Foods Market
Xan Confections 

As previously reported by Southwest Minneapolis Patch, the recall includes products sold at Target, Walmart, Cub Foods, Rainbow, as well as stores like GNC and Trader Joe's.

Not every container of the products in the list available from the FDA and from Sunland is affected. It depends on the batch, as shown by the UPC or SKU numbers. Those numbers can be found on the recall lists and on product containers.

The lists from the FDA and Sunland, however, may not contain all the recalled products. The Talenti Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Gelato, for example, does not appear on either of those lists. The Sacramento Bee on Saturday published a release from PR Newswire saying that the one-pint container of this gelato – with UPC code 1 86852  00094 5 printed on the back of the container and "Best By" date range of 3/21/13 through 3/26/14 printed on the bottom of the container – is being recalled by the company.

The recall affects products made at the Sunland facility in Portales, New Mexico, between March 1, 2010 and September 24, 2012, the FDA said.

Sunland has established a 24-hour, toll-free line that customers can use to contact the company for information about the recall: 1-866-837-1018.

The outbreak strain – Salmonella Bredeney – was identified by the Washington State Department of Agriculture laboratory in a jar of Trader Joe’s Valencia Creamy Peanut Butter collected from the home of one of 35 patients reported infected so far, the FDA said.

Trader Joe's has posted a notice to customers about the recall on its website.

The voluntary recalls are being conducted by the companies involved. 

The recall effort began Sept. 23 when the FDA and the federal Centers for Disease Control briefed Sunland on their findings. On the evening of the next day, Sept. 24, Sunland expanded the recall to about 100 products, the FDA said. The company expanded the list to 240 on Thursday.

"Consumers should not eat the recalled products," the FDA said. "This is especially important for children under the age of 5 years, elderly adults, and people with weak immune systems."

Symptoms of salmonella infection include diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps occurring 12-72 hours after infection, with the illness usually lasting between four and seven days, according to the FDA. Most people recover without treatment, but some patients can develop severe complications.

Customers with affected products within the current shelf life, or "Best-if-used-by" dates, should return them to wherever they were purchased for a refund or discard them, the FDA said. Those past their shelf life should be discarded.

The FDA and CDC are continuing their investigations with cooperation from several state health departments.


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