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1 year ago
ALERT: Peanut Butter Recall Expanded

 

Attention peanut butter addicts: You’ve got some homework to do.

Following a salmonella outbreak in 19 states linked to tainted peanut butter, manufacturer Sunland Inc. has expanded its ongoing recall of peanut butter products to include both raw and roasted peanuts. The CDC reports that 35 people have been infected as the result of eating peanut products from the New Mexico-based company.

The outbreak was initially linked to peanut butter made by Sunland and sold at a popular grocery store: Trader Joe’s Valencia Creamy Salted Peanut Butter. The FDA took samples in Sunland’s nut butter facility and found the presence of salmonella, which led to the recall. As the investigation continued, the FDA also found salmonella in the company’s separate peanut processing facility—hence the addition of the nuts themselves on the don’t-eat list.

Salmonella is serious business. According to the FDA, most people who get infected will develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps within 12 to 72 hours and these unpleasant symptoms last for 4 to 7 days. But, in some people, it's even worse. “The diarrhea can be severe enough to cause dehydration requiring hospitalization," says New York City physician and Women's Health contributor Keri Peterson, M.D. "You’ll wish your toilet was next to your bed!" Young children, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems are the most likely to get severe infections.

Good news: Sunland has now recalled everything made in its contaminated plant since March 2010 and they’ve ceased the production and distribution of products from both its nut butter and peanut processing facilities.

Bad news: There are more than 400 items on the recall list and questionable products may still be in your fridge, freezer, or pantry. An important note: the recall doesn’t just include peanuts and peanut butter, but also foods that contain peanuts or peanut flavor like granola bars, trail mix, cookies, and ice cream. (And there are products from some very common brands on the list including Archer Farms, Arrowhead Mills, Harry & David, Justin’s, Late July, Newman’s Own, and Talenti Gelato.)

What To Do 1. Check your pantry to see if any products containing peanuts or peanut butter are on the FDA’s list of recalled products.

2. If the product is within the current shelf life, take it back to the place of purchase for a full refund or just throw it out. Anything that’s expired should get tossed.

3. Know when to call for backup. "Call your doctor if you have fever, severe diarrhea, blood in the stool, or dizziness, a sign of dehydration,” Peterson says.

photo: iStockphoto/Thinkstock
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