Understanding the Widespread Peanut Product Recall

Posted on October 9, 2012

Anyone who has paid close attention to the news, or this blog for that matter, has no doubt heard about the peanut butter recall that has affected literally hundreds of products across the country.  It’s gotten to the point where it wouldn’t be surprising if families were worried that they won’t be able to consume any type of peanut butter for at least the near future.  To provide some background on the recall as well as to clarify some misconceptions as to what’s been happening, a new article decided to take a closer look at the entire incident.

First off, just because a wide variety of peanuts have been recalled does not mean that anything that might potentially contain nuts could put you at risk.  Recalled products all use some form of nut or nut butter supplied by a company called Sunland Inc.  Affected types of ingredients include things like tahini, cashew butter, and peanuts that have been roasted and blanched.  Whether the product is organic or not also has no bearing on whether the product could be endangered.  Newman’s Own is one organic brand that uses Sunland ingredients, and there are others as well.

The recall was necessitated once it was discovered that these Sunland items might have become contaminated with Salmonella.  Already, 30 people have reported becoming ill with a Salmonella infection that resulted from the consumption of a product that uses Sunland ingredients.  Those illnesses took place in 19 different states, and initial concerns were targeted toward a Trader Joe’s product called Creamy Salted Valencia peanut butter.

It wasn’t long, though, until the culprit behind the contamination was identified, leading to a widespread recall of a number of different products.  Well-known grocers like Target, Whole Foods, and Safeway have had to initiate a recall on some of their products.  In Target’s case, numerous Archer Farms items have had to be recalled, while Safeway’s Open Nature product line has also been affected.  Sunland has continued to update their press release with a list of the recalled items, as has the Food and Drug Administration, who currently provides a full list of all those products that consumers are being warned about thus far.

At this moment, people should err on the side of caution and give items in their kitchen a once-over to ensure that they’re not on the contaminated products list.  A Salmonella infection should not be underestimated, as it could lead even a healthy person to become nauseous, sustain a fever, and suffer from abdominal cramps and diarrhea.

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