June 20, 2024

Long History of Nut and Nut Product Outbreaks

In the wake of the current E. coli outbreak linked to organic walnuts, there is a long history of nut and nut product outbreaks. Nuts are an agricultural product, and just like leafy greens, herbs, and berries, can be contaminated with pathogenic bacteria. And nuts, like other types of produce, are often eaten without a consumer "kill step," in other words, cooking. History of Nut and Nut Product Outbreaks The current E. coli O157 outbreak allegedly linked to Gibson Farms organic walnuts and walnut pieces has sickened at least 12 people in two states, California and Washington. Seven of those patients have been hospitalized, and two people have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure. The walnuts have been recalled. In 2022, a Salmonella Senftenberg … [Read more...]

Klein Foods Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge Recalled For Salmonella

Klein Foods Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge is being recalled because it may be contaminated with Salmonella bacteria. This information was not posted on the FDA's recall page, but was on the FDA's Access Data system. There are fifteen 1/2-pound (227 gram) boxes of the fudge that are being recalled. The recalling firm is Klein Foods of Marshall, Minnesota. This type of recall notice does not state whether or not any illnesses have been reported in association with the consumption of this product. The Klein Foods Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge was sold at the Walnut Grove Mercantile in Marshall, Minnesota. The code for this product is 224025A (4/25/2022). If you bought this fudge, do not eat it. You can throw it away in a double bagged or sealed container inside a secure trash can … [Read more...]

ConAgra Grocery Pleads Guilty to Shipping Contaminated Peanut Butter

ConAgra Grocery Products LLC, a subsidiary of ConAgra Foods Incorporated, pled guilty yesterday to a criminal misdemeanor charge imposed over a massive Salmonella outbreak linked to its peanut butter in 2006. The Department of Justice announced the agreement on December 13, 2016. The company was ordered to pay an $8 million fine and a $3.2 million penalty, the largest fine ever paid in a food safety case. A plea agreement was filed last year in federal district court in the Middle District of Georgia. Senior U.S. District Court Judge W. Louis Sands accepted the guilty plea and imposed the sentence and fines. The company admitted in the plea agreement that it introduced contaminated Peter Pan and one product code of WalMart's Great Value peanut butter into interstate … [Read more...]

Largest Multistate Food Poisoning Outbreaks of 2014: #10

A Salmonella outbreak linked to peanut and almond butters made by nSpired Natural Foods Inc. was the tenth-largest food poisoning outbreak of 2014. The outbreak sickened six people in five states, one person was hospitalized. The products were sold under the brand names Arrowhead Mills and MaraNatha at a number of grocery stores including Arrowhead Mills, MaraNathha, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Walmart, Safeway and Kroger. Health officials used pulsed field gel electrophoresis and whole genome sequencing tests to identify the outbreak strain, Salmonella Braenderup, in case patients and in environmental samples collected from inspections at nSpired Natural Foods  in January and July 2014. nSpired Foods issued a recall for the products. Cases were reported in the following … [Read more...]

In Canada, Nut Butter Recall Updated to Correct Codes

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is updating the recall of MaraNatha and Trader Joe's nut butters for possible Salmonella contamination to include the correct codes on the products. The codes are marked with an asterisk (*) in the list at the CFIA web site. The recalled items are MaraNatha almond butter and peanut butter in various sizes, flavors, types and codes, and Trader Joe's raw unsalted almond butter in creamy and crunchy varieties. No illnesses have been reported to date in Canada, but four illnesses in the United States may be associated with the recalled MaraNatha and Trader Joe's products recalled in that country. If you purchased these products, do not eat them. Discard in a double bagged or closed container or return to the place of purchase for a … [Read more...]

Trader Joe’s and MaraNatha Nut Butters Recalled in Canada Too

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is recalling MaraNatha and Trader Joe's brand almond butters and peanut butters for possible Salmonella contamination. There is a recall in the United States of some of these products; four people are ill in what may be an associated Salmonella outbreak. You can see the long list of recalled products at the CFIA web site, along with package sizes, UPC numbers, and codes and "best by" dates. The products are MaraNatha almond and peanut butters in various types, including raw and roasted, and Trader Joe's almond butter. You can also see pictures of all of the recalled product labels at that site. If you purchased any of these products, do not eat them. Discard in a double bag or return to the place of purchase for a refund. There have been no … [Read more...]

After Salmonella Outbreak, Bankruptcy Sunland Plant Heads To Auction

The Portales, NM plant of Sunland Inc., once the nation’s largest producer of organic peanut butter, will be auctioned this week as part of a bankruptcy that followed a 2012 Salmonella outbreak.  The tainted peanut butter, sold under a variety of name brands including Trader Joe's, sickened 42 people in 20 states and triggered a massive recall. At the time of its Chapter 7 bankruptcy in October 2013, Sunland's 30-page list of creditors had about 1,000 names. The company was also named as a defendant in a number of civil lawsuits stemming from illnesses associated with the outbreak. California-based Ready Roast Nut Co. has already offered $18.5 million for the shuttered plant. That will be the reserve price for all bidders in Thursday's auction. The Sunland Salmonella outbreak was … [Read more...]

Fred Pritzker Reacts to PCA Indictments

The U.S. Department of Justice issued indictments against several officials of the Peanut Corporation of America today. That facility was linked to a 2009 Salmonella outbreak that sickened more than 700 people in this country and killed nine. “The decision to prosecute Peanut Corporation of America officers and employees responsible for the deadly Salmonella outbreak in 2009 is an important and long overdue step towards improving food safety in the United States,” according to Fred Pritzker, president of the national food safety law firm, Pritzker Hageman, who represented several of the injury and death victims harmed by PCA products. “My clients are ecstatic that the wrongdoers responsible for this food safety debacle are finally going to be held accountable by the criminal justice … [Read more...]

Federal Judge Signs Consent Decree Against Sunland Inc.

U.S. District Judge William P. Johnson of the District of New Mexico has signed a consent decree placing requirements on Sunland Inc., the manufacturer of peanut products linked to a nationwide outbreak of Salmonella Bredeney. The decree is intended to keep potentially harmful products from entering commerce. Epidemiological evidence that linked Sunland to the nationwide outbreak, as well as a history of violations led to the consent decree. The FDA suspended Sunland's registration on November 26, 2012. This was the first time the agency's authority to prohibit a food facility from introducing product into the marketplace was used. That power was granted under the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2011. Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine Michael Taylor said, "when the … [Read more...]

UGA To Study Salmonella In Peanut Butter, Other Foods

On the heels of a multi-state Salmonella outbreak linked to peanut butter, Joseph Frank, a food scientist at the University of Georgia, has been awarded a $499,998 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), to study risks associated with Salmonella in dry and ready-to-eat foods, such as peanut butter. The study is one of 17 research projects funded by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. The projects have the shared goal of improving food safety by controlling contamination. Salmonella causes more than 1 million cases of foodborne illness in the US each year, according to estimates by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Symptoms of salmonellosis, the infection caused by Salmonella poisoning, include fever, abdominal cramping and bloody … [Read more...]

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