Sunland, Inc. announced an expansion of last week's peanut butter recall to include several new products. Those products include cashew butter, almond butter, tahini (sesame butter), blanched peanut products, and roasted peanut products, the Associated Press noted.
Identifying Recalled Products
A complete list of specific products subject to the Sunland recall can be found on the company's website. The product brands include Archer Farms, Earth Balance, Fresh & Easy, Heinen's, Jospeph's, Natural Value, Open Nature, Peanut Power Butter, "Serious Food, Silly Prices," Snaclite, Sprout's, Sunland, Crunchy Sugar Butter, Creamy Sugar Butter, Dogsbutter, Trader Joe's, and Harry & David.
An 19-state Salmonella outbreak prompted the recall. The Centers for Disease Control reports 30 people have become sick, including four who required hospitalization. No one has died from this outbreak of the Salmonella Bredeney strain. The CDC says Trader's Joe's Creamy Salty Valencia Peanut Butter with Sea Salt is a likely source of the illnesses.
In response to the findings, Trader Joe's and Sunland both issued voluntary recalls.
Symptoms of Salmonella Poisoning
Salmonella bacteria typically causes diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps beginning 12 to 72 hours after infection according to the CDC. The symptoms last from four to seven days and in most cases don't require treatment.
People with weakened immune systems, the elderly, and infants are at increased risk of severe infections with Salmonella. In severe cases, Salmonella may spread from intestines to bloodstream and can cause death in the absence of antibiotic intervention.
Behind the Scenes
Public health authorities use multiple tools to identify disease outbreaks and their sources. As reports of Salmonella poisoning accumulated, CDC and state health dept. personnel conducted lab testing to identify the strain of Salmonella causing the sickness. By looking at the DNA fingerprints of the Salmonella, investigators were able to link cases stemming from a common cause, the CDC explained.
Interviews with the people sickened help pinpoint the source of contamination. Public health authorities interviewed 14 people who became sick, and they all said they'd shopped at Trader's Joe's. Twelve said they'd eaten Trader Joe's Valencia Creamy Salted Peanut Butter made with Sea Salt in the week before they got sick, the CDC said.
Historic Peanut Butter Recalls
A peanut butter recall due to potential Salmonella contamination in 2009 killed eight people and sickened more than 500 in 43 states, a U.S. Senate food recall summary said. According to the New York Times, the manufacturer of the contaminated peanut butter, Peanut Corporation of America, closed after investigators found fault with its Salmonella testing practices, and the Food and Drug Administration opened a criminal investigation into its activities.
In 2007, ConAgra, maker of Peter Pan peanut butter, pulled 326 million pounds of Peter Pan and Wal-mart brand product, along with almost 100,000 cases of peanut toppings, from the market due to potential Salmonella contamination. The company estimated the value of the withdrawn products at $1 billion, and it spent an additional $78 million to effectuate the recall. The recall covered a 2 1/2-year production period, CIO noted. According to a U.S. Senate report on food recalls, 628 people in 47 states became ill as a result of that 2007 Salmonella outbreak.
Carol Bengle Gilbert writes about consumer issues for the Yahoo! Contributor Network.