September 22, 2023

After Salmonella Outbreak, FDA Halts Sunland’s Operations

Citing its link to a 20-state Salmonella outbreak and its history of food safety violations, US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has ordered peanut butter maker Sunland Inc.  to suspend operations. The agency suspended the company's food facility registration, which prohibits it from doing business, today. It was the FDA’s first use of its registration suspension authority as outlined by  the Food Safety Modernization Act. Under the provision, the agency has  the authority  to take this action when food manufactured, processed, packed, received, or held by a facility has a reasonable probability of causing serious illness  or death.  Documents recently released by the FDA, show that Sunland products tested positive for Salmonella 11 times  between June 2009 and September 2012. In a … [Read more...]

Surprise? Food + Salmonella + Pests = Food Poisoning

Is it a surprise or is it just math?  If documents newly made public by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are to be believed, Sunland Inc., the Portales, NM-based peanut butter company at the heart of a Salmonella outbreak and recall of over 250 products, has had unresolved food safety problems including Salmonella and pest control issues for the last five years. FDA documents, some of which are heavily redacted,  from 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2012 all cite the same problems: the presence of Salmonella in the plant,  pest problems, poor food safety practices by employees, poor maintenance of the building and equipment and improper storage of raw materials. Here is a comparison of language used by FDA inspectors to describe problems at Sunland at 2007 and 2012. (Some of which were … [Read more...]

Sunland CEO Denies Shipping Salmonella Peanut Butter

Sunland CEO Jimmie Shearer denies the FDA's claim that the company has knowingly distributed peanut butter that was tainted with Salmonella since 2009. Shearer began a letter posted on the company's website today saying , "At no time in its twenty four year history has Sunland, Inc. released for distribution any products that it knew to be potentially contaminated with harmful microorganisms. " This week, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a number of documents about Sunland including the results of its month-long inspection of Sunalnd's plant in  Portales, NM. That inspection began in early September, after a Salmonella outbreak was linked to peanut butter produced at the plant. The first of 10 observations that inspectors made at the plant was : "Since 2009, your … [Read more...]

Salmonella Outbreak: Bird Poop On Peanuts At Sunland Plant

Eighteen months before the Salmonella outbreak linked to peanut butter made at Sunland's plant in Portales, NM,  FDA inspectors found bird poop on raw, unshelled peanuts that had yet to be processed and told the company that storing nuts where birds could fly over and land on them was a health hazard. But, a year and a half later, when FDA inspectors returned to the plant after the outbreak, they found the same thing. In March, 2011, inspectors observed during and audit that "raw, in-shell peanuts were observed to be stored outdoors and exposed to the elements." And that "birds too numerous to count were observed flying over and landing on the in-shell peanuts.  Apparent bird excreta also was observed on some of the in-shell peanuts.  Management stated that these in-shell peanuts … [Read more...]

After Salmonella Outbreak, Sunland Awaits FDA OK To Reopen

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 … [Read more...]

BT McElrath Chocolatier Recalling Peanut Butter Pave

BT McElrath Chocolatier, Inc. is recalling seasonal peanut butter pave because it may be contaminated with Salmonella. The product was made with ingredients produced by Sunland, Inc. that have been recalled. Sunland's Trader Joe Valencia peanut butter is linked to a Salmonella Bredeney outbreak in the United States. There have been no confirmed illnesses associated with these recalled products. The products are 2 and 5 piece Peanut Butter Pave in these lots: Lot #12031 with Best by date of 4-30-12, and UPC numbers 693868102117 and 69386905312. Lot #12046 with Best by date of 6-15-12 and UPC numbers 693868102117 and 69386905312. Lot #12159 with Best by date of 10-7-12 and UPC numbers 693868102117 and 69386905312. And Lot #12201 with Best by date of 11-26-12 and UPC numbers 693868102117 … [Read more...]

General Mills Recalls Cascadian Farm Granola Bars for Possible Salmonella

General Mills is recalling several varieties of Cascadian Farm granola bars because they were made with recalled peanuts from Sunland, Inc. Those nuts have been recalled because of possible contamination with Salmonella bacteria. There is a Salmonella Bredeney outbreak linked to Trader Joe's Valencia peanut butter produced by Sunland, but no illnesses have been linked to Cascadian Farm products. The specific recall is for 6-count boxes of Cascadian Farm Peanut Butter Chip Chewy Granola Bars with "Best if Used By" dates of 01NOV2012 and 02NOV2012. In addition, if consumers have any of these products that are past their "Best if Used by" dates, discard them: Cascadian Farm Sweet & Salty Peanut Pretzel Bars, Cascadian Farm Sweet & Salty Mixed Nut Granola Bars, Cascadian Farm Peanut … [Read more...]

Newman’s Own Organics Recalls Peanut Butter Cookies

Newman's Own Organics is recalling peanut butter creme filled chocolate cookies made with recalled Sunland Inc. products for possible Salmonella contamination. There have been no illnesses reported in connection with the consumption of these products. The recalled items include 8 ounce/6 pack Peanut Butter Newman-O's with Unit UPC number 7 57645 02170 8 and Case UPC number 7 57645 02171 5 and expiration date 27MAY13. Also recalled is 13 ounce/6 pack of Peanut Butter Newmans-O's, with Unit UPC number 7 57645 02150 0, Case UPC number 7 57645 02151 7, and Expiration Date 3MAY13. The cookies were distributed nationwide via retail stores. No other Newman's Own Organics products are affected by this recall. You can see photos of the recalled products at the FDA site. If you have purchased … [Read more...]

Jer’s Chocolates Recalls Peanut Butter Products for Possible Salmonella

Jer's™ Chocolates is recalling some of its products made with peanut butter because they were made with Sunland products and may be contaminated with Salmonella. No illnesses have been associated with these products and all of Jer's Chocolates have passed internal quality control tests, according to the company. There is a nationwide Salmonella Bredeney outbreak associated with Sunland peanut products and Trader Joe's Valencia peanut butter. The recalled products are 3 ounce Gourmet Peanut Butter Bars and 4 ounce squares and 16 ounce Gable Boxes of Gourmet Jer's Squares, produced from July 9, 2012 to September 24, 2012. You can see all of the UPC numbers, best if used by dates, and Lot numbers at the FDA site. You can also see all of the packages and product labels at the FDA … [Read more...]

Whole Foods Recalls Peanut Butter Items for Possible Salmonella

Whole Foods Market is recalling two peanut butter bulk bin items sold in seven stores in Florida and one store in southern California because they may be contaminated with Salmonella bacteria. The items were made with recalled Sunland ingredients. You can see the stores and the PLU numbers of the recalled products at the FDA site. The recalled items are Peanut Butter Power Chews and Treasure Trove Mix. The products have no label since they were sold from self-serve bulk bins. They were sold between May 1 and September 27, 2012. No illnesses have been reported in connection with the consumption of these products. The recall is in response to a Salmonella Bredeney outbreak related to Sunland peanut butter and Trader Joe's peanut butter that has sickened 30 people in 18 states and … [Read more...]

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