After it was linked to a Salmonella outbreak, peanut butter maker Sunland Inc. closed the doors of its manufacturing plant in Portales, NM to give everything a good cleaning. Weeks later, the nation’s largest producer of organic peanut butter awaits a go ahead to reopen from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The FDA’s last word on Sunland was that the investigation into the Salmonella outbreak linked to peanut butter made at the company’s Portales plant, which has sickened at least 41 people in 20 states, was ongoing. As one of the nation’s largest peanut processors and the country’s biggest manufacturer of organic peanut butter, Sunland made peanut butter for a variety of companies under dozens of brands names all included in a massive recall. The recalled peanut butter even made its way onto school lunch trays via Smucker’s Uncustables, crustless peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
So far, more than 240 products containing peanut butter made by Sunland have been recalled. Trader Joe’s, Target and Costco were among the dozens of retailers included in the recall. Trader Joe’s Valencia Creamy Salted Peanut Butter was linked to reported illnesses.
The FDA found Salmonella in environmental samples taken in the Sunland Inc. nut butter production facility that matched the strain found in outbreak victims and in a sample taken from an open jar of peanut butter from one case patient’s home. The FDA also found the presence of Salmonella in raw peanuts from the peanut processing facility.