Peanut Butter Salmonella Bredeney Outbreak – Update

Peanut butter is a semi-solid and can therefor...
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The outbreak of Salmonella Bredeney noted in this blog on September 23 has expanded considerably.  In an update posted by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on October 5, this outbreak is currently associated with 35 cases of Salmonellosis in 19 states.  Although the case count has only increased by a small number since September 23, the scope of the recall of peanut products has grown dramatically.

Sunland Inc. of Portales, New Mexico was previously identified as the source of the peanut butter originally recalled by Trader Joe’s in September, and numerous additional recall notifications have subsequently occurred.  On October 4, 2012, Sunland Inc. expanded its ongoing recall  [PDF – 10 pages] to include all products made in the Sunland nut butter production facility between March 1, 2010 and September 24, 2012.  More than 200 products are now on the Sunland recall list, including some products that have been included as ingredients used to produce others.  This has resulted in a significant number of secondary recalls associated with products made using ingredients originating from the Sunland facility.  The list of recalled products has also expanded beyond peanut butter to include peanuts, tahini, almond butter, cashew butter and other products.

On October 5, 2012, the FDA announced that environmental samples taken in the Sunland Inc. nut butter production facility show the presence of Salmonella.  Further analysis by FDA to identify the type of Salmonella is pending.  FDA and CDC also have noted that testing conducted by the Washington State Department of Agriculture laboratory isolated the outbreak strain of Salmonella Bredeney from an opened jar of Trader Joe’s Valencia Creamy Peanut Butter collected from a case-patient’s home.

CDC recommends that consumers do not eat recalled peanut butter or other recalled products containing nuts and seeds and dispose of any remaining jars of product in the home or return the product to the place of purchase.  This is especially important for children under the age of 5 years, older adults, and people with weak immune systems.  CDC’s outbreak report notes that 63% of the illnesses associated with this outbreak have been children under the age of ten years.

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About Les Bourquin

Professor and Food Safety Specialist Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition Michigan State University
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