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Peanut butter recall expands to 240 products

Robin Wulffson MD's picture
Salmonella Bredeney, peanut butter, recall, food poisoning, Sunland Inc

Last week a multistate recall began for peanut products manufactured by Sunland Inc., which sells its nuts and nut butters to large groceries and other food distributors around the nation. The company recalled products under multiple brand names after illnesses caused by Salmonella Bredeney were linked to Trader Joe's Valencia Creamy Salted Peanut Butter made with Sea Salt, one of the brands manufactured by Sunland. On October 5, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) expanded the recall to more than 200 peanut products because they may contain Salmonella bacteria.

All the recalled products all contain peanut butter made at Sunland Inc., based in New Mexico. In late September, Sunland recalled about 100 of its products because they may have been contaminated with Salmonella. Today, the recall was been expanded to include a total of 240 products. The FDA notes that the recall includes all products made at Sunland's product plant since March 1, 2010. Of the newly recalled products, approximately 50 have “Best-If-Used-By” dates that have not expired. A total of 90 products have exceeded their “Best-If-Used-By” However, they may still be in your refrigerator or pantry.

To date, a total of 35 people from 19 states have been sickened from the outbreak, most of whom are children. Salmonella causes enterocolitis, which is an infection in the lining of the small intestine. It can cause serious illness, especially in young children and older adults. Symptoms include diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps that develop 12 to 72 hours after infection. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that consumers do not eat recalled peanut butter and other products containing nuts and seeds; furthermore, the agency recommends that any remaining jars of the product in the home should be disposed of or returned to the place of purchase. It notes that this policy is of special importance for children under the age of 5 years, older adults, and individuals with a compromised immune systems.

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Any food can become contaminated if food preparation conditions and equipment are unsanitary. Approximately 40,000 people develop salmonella infection in the United States each year. Most patients are younger than 20. The highest rate occurs from July through October. Salmonella enterocolitis is one of the most common types of food poisoning.

You are more likely to get this type of infection if you have:

  • Eaten improperly prepared or stored food (especially undercooked turkey or chicken, unrefrigerated turkey dressing, undercooked eggs)
  • Family members with recent salmonella infection
  • Had a recent family illness with gastroenteritis
  • Been in an institution
  • Eaten chicken recently
  • A pet iguana or other lizards, turtles, or snakes (reptiles are carriers of salmonella)
  • A weakened immune system

A full list of the recalled products can be found at this link.

See also: Your peanut butter may contain Salmonella bacteria