PORTALES — Sunland Inc. remains busy processing peanuts during the early part of its harvest even as it has expanded a recall of peanut butter and almond butter to include cashew butters, tahini and blanched and roasted peanut products.
The peanut butter-making equipment is being scrubbed top to bottom and tests are being done to see if salmonella bacteria is on it.
“The (peanut butter) plant at this point is under inspection,” Sunland spokeswoman Katalin Coburn said.
Sunland has several plants, and the peanut butter plant is where the recalled products are made. She said the entire plant will be tested by the FDA to see if the bacteria is on the peanut butter-making equipment. If no bacteria is found, the plant will be able to operate again.
She added that there’s no word on how long the process will take.
The company recently recalled products under multiple brand names after salmonella illnesses were linked Trader Joe’s Creamy Salted Valencia Peanut Butter, one of the brands manufactured by Sunland.
The federal Center for Disease Control and Prevention says there are now 30 illnesses in 19 states that can be traced to the Trader Joe’s peanut butter. No other foods have been linked to the illnesses, but Sunland recalled other products manufactured on the same equipment as the Trader Joe’s product.
The recall includes nut products sold at Whole Foods Market, Target, Giant Food, Stop & Shop Supermarket Com. and several other stores. Brand names include Archer Farms, Earth Balance, Fresh & Easy, Late July, Heinen’s, Joseph’s, Natural Value, Open Nature, and Sprouts Farmers Market.
— This article appeared on page B1 of the Albuquerque Journal