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Trader Joe's Peanut Butter Recall Expanded to Include Dozens of Sunland Inc. Products

Consumers familiar with Trader Joe’s received troubling news last week when the popular grocery store chain was linked to a multi-state outbreak of Salmonella Bredeney infections. Regulatory officials associated with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) traced the bacterial contamination to Trader Joe’s Valencia Creamy Salted Peanut Butter. However, recent developments have forced Sunland Inc. to expand the current recall to include several other products, each of which may also contain traces of Salmonella Bredeney.

On September 22, Trader Joe’s voluntarily recalled its Creamy Salted Valencia Peanut Butter due to a potential contamination with Salmonella Bredeney. According to the initial review of this case, by the CDC and FDA, officials revealed approximately 29 individuals who had been infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Bredeney in a total of 18 states.

Among persons for whom information was available at the time, illness onset dates spanned from June 11, 2012 to September 2, 2012. Those affected by the outbreak range in age from less than 1 year to 77 years, with a median age being 7 years. Among 11 ill persons with available information, 4 (36%) reported being hospitalized. Fortunately, however, no deaths have been reported. As a result, Trader Joe’s was forced to initiate a voluntary nationwide recall of Valencia Creamy Salted Peanut Butter products with a SKU of 97111.

According to the CDC, the number of ill persons identified in each state is as follows: Arizona (1), California (2), Connecticut (3), Illinois (1), Louisiana (1), Massachusetts (3), Maryland (1), Michigan (1), Minnesota (1), Missouri (1), Nevada (1), New Jersey (2), New York (1), North Carolina (1), Pennsylvania (2), Rhode Island (1), Texas (4), Virginia (1), and Washington (2).

In the event that food contaminated with Salmonella is ingested, an individual may experience severe salmonellosis, one of the most common bacterial food-borne illnesses. Salmonella infections can be life-threatening, especially to those with weak immune systems, such as infants and the elderly. However, the most common manifestations of salmonellosis are diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever within six to 72 hours. Additional symptoms may be chills, headache, nausea and vomiting that can last up to seven days.

Of significant concern, however, is the rate in which this outbreak may continue to grow. As a precautionary measure, Sunland Inc. announced that they are expanding the current recall to include 76 varieties of almond butter, peanut butter, cashew butter, tahini and roasted blanched peanut products. While Trader Joe’s Valencia Creamy Salted Peanut Butter is the only product found to contain Salmonella Bredeney, officials believe these products my be contaminated due to their close proximity during the packaging process. Only goods produced between May 1 and Sept. 24 are affected. The expanded recall is “a precautionary step,” Sunland said in a statement.

The items were available online and at large supermarket chains under brands such as Sprouts, Harry & David and Safway’s Open Nature. Fresh & Easy issued their own statement this week, acknowledging they were pulling several almond and peanut butters off shelves “out of an abundance of caution.”

“There is nothing more important to us than the health and safety of our customers, particularly the many families who enjoy our peanut butter everyday,” said Jimmie Shearer, Sunland’s chief executive, in a statement. “If you purchased these products, do not eat them. Please return the product to your supermarket for a full refund or dispose of it.”

Do I Have a Trader Joe’s Peanut Butter Recall Lawsuit?

The trial lawyers at The Senators (Ret.) Firm, LLP have decades of experience navigating through complex legislative and regulatory issues and litigating high stakes cases all over the nation. Our law firm focuses on the representation of plaintiffs in Trader Joe’s peanut butter recall lawsuits. We are currently accepting new cases in all 50 states.

If you or a loved one has been injured by any of the products involved in this recall, you may be entitled to financial compensation. For a free case review, please click the link below or call toll free 24 hrs/day 1-800-773-0849.

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