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Peanut butter recall expands to 76 types

Peanut butter file photo.
September 24, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
A salmonella outbreak linked to Trader Joe's peanut butter has forced the maker of the product to recall 76 types of peanut butter and almond butter products.

New Mexico-based Sunland Inc. recalled the products under multiple brand names after the Food and Drug Administration and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention linked 29 salmonella illnesses in 18 states to Trader Joe's Creamy Salted Valencia Peanut Butter. Sunland manufactures and packages the Trader Joe's product.

The other peanut and almond butters have not been linked to the illness, but Sunland says the same manufacturing equipment was used for the Trader Joe's product. The FDA is currently inspecting Sunland's plant in Portales, N.M.

Trader Joe's recalled the Creamy Salted Valencia Peanut Butter from its stores Saturday after consultation with the FDA and the CDC.

According to the CDC, people who were sickened reported becoming ill between June 11 and Sept. 2. More than 3/4 of those who became ill were children under the age of 18. The agencies won't say which states have reported those illnesses. But according to state health departments, three cases were in Massachusetts, one was in Rhode Island and one was in North Carolina. No deaths have been reported.

Brand names included in the voluntary recall are Archer Farms, Earth Balance, Fresh & Easy, 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.

Two additional Trader Joe's products are also included in the expanded recall: Trader Joe's Valencia Peanut Butter with Roasted Flaxseeds and Trader Joe's Almond Butter with Roasted Flaxseeds.

No other Sunland or Trader Joe's products are included in the recall.

"There is nothing more important to us than the health and safety of our customers," said Jimmie Shearer, the president and CEO of Sunland. "As a precautionary step, we have decided to voluntarily recall our Almond Butter and Peanut Butter products manufactured between May 1, 2012 and September 24, 2012. If you purchased these products, do not eat them. Please return the product to your supermarket for a full refund or dispose of it."

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.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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