Trader Joe’s Salmonella Peanut Butter Recall Expanded

The Trader Joe’s Salmonella peanut butter recall has been expanded over possible additional product contaminations.

Sunland Inc. of Portales, New Mexico, the maker of Trader Joe’s peanut butter, recalled a total of 76 products, including three Trader Joe’s peanut butter brands. The products, said NBC News, are associated with the ongoing multi-state Salmonella outbreak.

All of the products, including Trader Joe’s brand peanut butters, were manufactured on the same production line, said NBC News. Yesterday, we wrote that the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) announced that a recall was implemented for Trader Joe’s Valencia Creamy Salted Peanut Butter following 29 illnesses in 18 states. The Salmonella involved is fairly rare—Salmonella Bredeney.

Since, two other Trader Joe’s brands have been recalled—Trader Joe’s Valencia Peanut Butter with Roasted Flaxseeds, Crunchy and Salted and Trader Joe’s Almond Butter with Roasted Flaxseeds, Crunchy and Salted, said NBC News. Sunland also recalled peanut and almond products sold under popular brands that include Archer’s, Earth Balance, Fresh & Easy, Heinen’s, Natural Value, Naturally More, Open Nature, Serious Food, Silly Prices, Sprout’s and Sprouts Farmers Market, and others, said NBC News.

The expanded recall applies to products with best-by dates from May 1, 2013 and September 24, 2013. A complete list can be accessed on the Sunland web site. Peanut and almond products were manufactured between May 1 and September 24, Katalin Coburn, Sunland’s vice president for media relations, told NBC News.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that infections have been reported from June 11 through September 2. Illnesses include four hospitalizations, said NBC News. The outbreak’s median age is seven and most—three-quarters—of those who have fallen ill have been under the age of 18. Infections have been reported in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Virginia, and Washington state.

Coburn told NBC News that the firm’s tests detected no positive results for Salmonella Bredeney, which she described as “a particularly cunning strain,” that is “very difficult to detect.” According to Coburn, pulling so many products was “possibly an overkill step.” The production line involved can manufacture some 6,000 tons of nut products in just an hour, Coburn noted. The firm is advising consumers who have purchased the recalled products to not eat the product and dispose of it. Trader Joe’s urges its customers to return recalled Trader Joe’s products for a full refund. Trader Joe’s Customer Relations department can be reached at 1.626.599.3817.

As we wrote yesterday, the FDA announced that it is investigating the matter with the CDC and local and state public health officials. The CDC also recommends that consumers not consume the recalled products saying that the warning is particularly important for children under the age of five, elderly adults, and people with weak immune systems.

It can take between six and 72 hours from consumption of a contaminated product for the symptoms of Salmonella poisoning—salmonellosis—to appear. Symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever. Additional symptoms include chills, headache, nausea, and vomiting that can last up to seven days. The illness usually lasts four to seven days; however, in some, the organism can invade the bloodstream, becoming so severe that hospitalization is required. Sometimes, infection with the Salmonella pathogen can result in, and produce more severe or chronic illnesses and can leave sufferers with serious life-long health issues. Salmonellosis can be especially life threatening to those with weakened immune systems, such as infants; the elderly; and persons with compromised immune systems, such as people with HIV infection or who are undergoing chemotherapy.

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