April 19, 2014

Salmonella Bredeney Outbreak Linked to Sunland Trader Joe Peanut Butter Grows

The CDC has updated its investigation into the Salmonella Bredeney outbreak that is linked to Trader Joe’s Valencia peanut butter produced by Sunland Inc. Now 38 people have been sickened with the outbreak strain of the bacteria. Ten people have been hospitalized. There are no deaths.

The case count by state is: Arizona (1), California (5), Connecticut (3), Illinois (1), Louisiana (1), Massachusetts (3), Maryland (1), Michigan (1), Minnesota (1), Missouri (2), Nevada (1), New Jersey (2), New York (1), North Carolina (1), Pennsylvania (2), Rhode Island (1), Texas (5), Virginia (1), and Washington (2). Sixty-six percent of the ill persons are children under the age of 10.

Sunland has been recalling products for weeks, and derivative product recalls have reached into the hundreds of products. Attorney Fred Pritzker has called on Sunland and Trader Joe’s to reimburse people who have been sickened in this outbreak. He said, “these people have suffered severe pain because of a collapse of food safety measures, and the companies responsible need to take responsibility.”

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Among persons who have been interviewed, illness onset dates range from June 14, 2012 to September 21, 2012. The patient age range is from less than 1 year to 79 years, with a median age of 7 years. Sixty-two percent of patients are male.

The FDA has confirmed that Salmonella was found in the Sunland nut butter facility, and that strain is a DNA match to the bacteria that is causing these illnesses. Food Poisoning Bulletin broke the story that the peanut butter was also used to make Smuckers Uncrustables sandwiches that were provided to school children through the National School Lunch Program. Smuckers did not announce this recall on the FDA site, but only told participants in the Program who received the affected products. If your child ate those sandwiches and became ill with the symptoms of Salmonella, including nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea that may be bloody, fever, chills, headache, and muscle pains, take her to the doctor immediately. The doctor can perform tests to see if the illness is Salmonella and if it is linked to this outbreak.

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