October 1, 2012 — Major grocery retailers, including Target, Costco, Whole Foods, Safeway, and Trader Joe’s, are joining a massive recall of peanut butter due to possible salmonella contamination. The New Mexico-based company Sunland, Inc., has issued a recall of more than 100 products that might be contaminated with salmonella. The peanut butter food poisoning outbreak has sickened at least 30 people in 19 states.
Today, the following additional retailers issued recalls of nut butter products:
- Chattanooga Bakery, Inc.
- Fairytale Brownies
- Falcon Trading Company/SunRidge Farms
- Giant Food
- Gretchen Shoebox Express
- Harry and David
- Jer’s Chocolates
- Late July Snacks
- Newman’s Own Organics
- Oregon Ice Cream Company
- Stop & Shop Supermarket Company
- Whole Foods Market
The recall has expanded to include specific nut butters (including almond, cashew, and tahini, in addition to peanut butter) sold at Whole Foods Market, Target (Archer Farms), Safeway (Open Nature), Fresh & Easy, Harry and Davis, Sprouts, Heinen’s, Stop & Shop Supermarket Company, Giant Food of Landover Maryland, and more. Many of these retailers used Sunland peanut butter in other products sold in their stores.
The first peanut butter food poisoning lawsuit was filed by the father of a young boy who suffered from salmonella food poisoning after consuming Trader Joe’s Creamy Salted Valencia peanut butter. Lewis Lebron’s 8 year-old son was sickened on August 25, 2012. He suffered from severe diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever, and required three days of hospitalization to treat his illness. The lawsuit was filed in Nash County Superior Court in North Carolina, against Trader Joe’s and Sunland, Inc.
Children are highly susceptible to food poisoning, along with the elderly and people with weakened immune systems. A salmonella infection can cause blood poisoning or severe dehydration, and in rare cases, the illness can be deadly. Healthy adults typically recover from the illness within seven days.
Fortunately, no deaths have been linked to the peanut butter food poisoning outbreak. However, this is not the first time peanut butter has caused a major salmonella outbreak. From September 2008 until January 16, 2009, at least 529 people in 43 states were sickened, 116 people were hospitalized, and eight deaths were linked to the outbreak. Laboratory findings indicated that the outbreak occurred at one plant, which distributed peanut butter and peanut paste products to many different products.
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