Peanut Butter Recalls Swells to Include More Major Retailers

Trader Joes, Whole Foods, Target, Safeway and other retailers sold products made by Sunland Inc.

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    A recall of peanut butter and other nut products has some of the country's largest grocery stores pulling store-brand products off their shelves.

    New Mexico-based Sunland Inc. on Monday expanded its recall of peanut butter and almond butter to include cashew butters, tahini and blanched and roasted peanut products.

    The company, which sells its nuts and nut butters to large grocery chains and other food distributors around the country, recalled products under multiple brand names last month after salmonella illnesses were linked to Trader Joe's Creamy Salted Valencia Peanut Butter, one of the brands it manufactures.

    In addition to Trader Joe's, the recall has grown to include some nut butters and nut products sold at Whole Foods Market, Target, Safeway, Fresh & Easy, Harry and David, Sprouts, Heinen's, Stop & Shop Supermarket Company, Giant Food of Landover, Md., and several other stores. Some of those retailers used Sunland ingredients in items they prepared and packaged themselves.

    No other foods have been linked to the illnesses, but Sunland recalled other products manufactured on the same equipment as the Trader Joe's product.

    Some of the brand names included in the recall are Target's Archer Farms, Safeway's Open Nature, Earth Balance, Fresh & Easy, Late July, Heinen's, Joseph's, Natural Value, Naturally More, Peanut Power Butter, Serious Food, Snaclite Power, Sprouts Farmers Market, Sprouts, Sunland and Dogsbutter.

    Sunland's recall includes 101 products, and several retailers have issued additional recalls including items made with Sunland ingredients.

    So far, thirty people in 19 states have been sickened with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Bredeney, two of which were in California, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports.

    Arizona, Connecticut, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Virginia and Washington have all reported cases.

    Those sickened reported becoming ill between June 11 and Sept. 11, according to the CDC. Four of those infected had to be hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

    The salmonella outbreak among peanut butter – a school lunch staple – has most heavily affected children. Almost two-thirds of those who became ill are children under the age of 10, and the median age of those sickened is 7 years old.

    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.

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