Responding to what it called a "fast-moving outbreak" of salmonella-caused sickness in at least 19 states, including New York, 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 company supplies Trader Joe's – a store many locals on the East End would like to see in the area. The closest store is a new location in Lake Grove on Route 347, opposite its biggest local competitor, Whole Foods. The grocery chain has posted a notice to customers about the recall on its website.
The announcement comes on the heels of a recall at the end of September, and the list includes several well-known brands and a variety of peanut butter products as well as almond butter, cashew butter, tahini, and roasted blanched peanut products. This random list indicates the range:
- Archer Farms Creamy Peanut Butter
- Fresh & Easy Creamy Peanut Butter Cups
- Harry & David Creamy Caramel Peanut Spread
- Kirkland Organic Creamy Peanut Butter
- Peanut Butter Newman-O’s Sandwich Crème Cookies
- Sunland Organic Thai Ginger Peanut Butter
- Talenti Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Gelato
- Trader Joe's Creamy Salted Valencia Peanut Butter
- Whole Foods Treasure Trove Mix (bulk foods)
- Yogurtland Dark Roast Peanut Butter with Flax
Not every container of the products in the list above or the much longer lists available from the FDAand 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 in the list above, for example, does not appear on either of those lists.
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.
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.