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Trader Joe's peanut butter recall expands; 30 sick in 19 states

Trader Joe's

Sunland Inc., of Portales, N.M., which makes Trader Joe's peanut butter linked to a salmonella outbreak, has recalled dozens more products.

The maker of Trader Joe’s peanut butter tied to a multi-state salmonella outbreak has pulled dozens of additional peanut and almond products because of possible contamination.

Sunland Inc. of Portales, N.M., has voluntarily recalled 76 different products, including three brands of Trader Joe’s peanut butter, according to a press release issued Monday. Those products were manufactured on the same line as the Trader Joe's products. 

U.S. health officials on Saturday warned consumers not to eat Trader Joe’s Valencia Creamy Salted Peanut Butter after the product was linked to 29 infections in 18 states linked to the rare salmonella Bredeney.

UPDATE: Thirty people in 19 states have now been confirned to be infected with the outbreak strain of salmonella Bredeney, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials said Tuesday.

The other two Trader Joe’s brands that have been recalled include Trader Joe’s Valencia Peanut Butter with Roasted Flaxseeds, Crunchy and Salted and Trader Joe’s Almond Butter with Roasted Flaxseeds, Crunchy and Salted.

In addition, Sunland is recalling peanut and almond products sold under popular brands including Archer’s, Earth Balance, Fresh & Easy, Heinen’s, Natural Value, Naturally More, Open Nature, Serious Food, Silly Prices, Sprout's and Sprouts Farmers Market, among others. The recall applied to products with best-by dates between May 1, 2013 and Sept. 24, 2013.

For a full list of recalled products, click here.

The peanut and almond products were manufactured between May 1 and Sept. 24, said Katalin Coburn, Sunland’s vice president for media relations.

Infections were reported between June 11 and Sept. 2, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Four people have been hospitalized. The median age of the victims is 7, and three-quarters of those sickened have been under age 18.

States where infections have been reported include Arizona, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, New Jersey, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Virginia and Washington state.

Coburn said the company was conducting the recall even though their own tests had detected no positive results for salmonella Bredeney, which she called “a particularly cunning strain.” The production line in question can make about 6,000 tons of nut products in an hour, she added.

In fact, salmonella Bredeney didn’t make the top 20 list of the most frequently reported serotypes confirmed by the CDC in 2009.

“It’s very difficult to detect,” Coburn said, adding that pulling so many products was “possibly an overkill step.”

The Food and Drug Administration said it was especially important that young children, the elderly and those with weak immune systems avoid eating the potentially contaminated peanut or almond products.

Symptoms of salmonella infection include diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramping within 12 to 72 hours of infection. Illness may last four to seven days and most people recover without treatment. However, some people may develop a more serious illness that requires hospitalization.

Health officials recommended that consumers discard the nut products. Trader Joe’s invited shoppers to return the products for full refunds.

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