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Peanut factory salmonella contamination leads to massive recalls

At least 11 confectionery and snack companies affected

Sunland inc logoA possible salmonella contamination at a peanut company has caused a slew of confectionery and snack product recalls — many of which are made with natural and organic ingredients.

The root cause is a massive recall by Sunland Inc., a peanut supplier based in Portales, New Mexico.

The recalls, now affecting hundreds of products, started with a peanut butter recall Sept. 23. They have since been expanded multiple times and now include all the raw and roasted shelled and in-shelled peanuts as well as Thai ginger butter, chocolate butter and banana butter.      

As a result at least eleven companies have recalled candy and snack foods, including:

► Chattanooga Bakery Inc. recalled its MoonPie Crunch Peanut Crunch products
► Creative Energy Foods, Inc., recalled Crunch thinkThin nutrition bars.
► General Mills recalled its Cascadian Farm granola bars
► Jer’s Chocolates recalled Jer’s Squares.
► Late July Snacks, LLC recalled its mini peanut butter sandwich crackers.
► Lin-Mar Partners recalled two of its Longhorn Bars, including: the Roasted Peanut with Chocolate Energy Bar and the Peanut Butter Trail Mix Protein Bar
► Mondelez Global LLC (formerly Kraft) recalled Green & Black’s Organic Peanut & Sea Salt Milk Chocolate bar.
► Purefit Inc., recalled its PureFit Peanut Butter Crunch nutrition bars.
► SunRidge Farms recalled its Peanut Butter Power Chews, Energy Nuggets, and Treasure Trove Mix.
► Sunland, Inc. recalled its Ridgebar nutrition bars
► Xan Confections recalled 13  peanut butter chocolate products.

A full list of the recalls, and details about the related expiration dates of the products are available on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s  website.

The FDA started investigating the company  in September after a multistate outbreak of salmonella. As of today, 35 people from 19 states had been infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Bredeney.

The outbreak was eventually traced back to a jar of Trader Joe’s Valencia Creamy Peanut Butter collected from a case-patient’s home. The peanut butter had been made by Sunland Inc.

Sunland Inc. says it has ceased the production and distribution of all products from both its nut butter facility and its peanut processing facility and the investigation is ongoing, according to the FDA.

Most people infected with salmonella develop diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection. The illness usually lasts four to seven days, and most people recover without treatment.

However, in some people, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. In these patients, the salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the blood stream, and then to other body sites and can cause death unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics.

Consumers should not eat the recalled products, particularly groups that are more vulnerable such as children younger than 5 years old, elderly adults, and people with weak immune systems.  About 400 people die each year from acute salmonellosis.

Anyone looking for more information can call Sunland Inc.’s toll-free, 24-hour hotline at: (866) 837-1018.  

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