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Peanut butter recall includes major retailers

- Associated Press - Monday, October 1, 2012

WASHINGTON — A recall of peanut butter and other nut products has some of the country's largest grocery stores pulling store-brand products off their shelves.

New Mexico-based Sunland Inc. has expanded its recall of peanut butter and almond butter to include cashew butters, tahini and blanched and roasted peanut products. The company, which sells its nuts and nut butters to large groceries and other food distributors around the country, recalled products under multiple brand names last month after salmonella illnesses were linked to Trader Joe's Creamy Salted Valencia Peanut Butter, one of the brands it manufactures.

In addition to Trader Joe's, the recall includes some nut butters and nut products sold at Whole Foods Market, Target, Safeway, Fresh & Easy, Giant Food, Harry and David, Sprouts, Heinen's, Stop & Shop Supermarket Company and several other stores. Some of the stores used Sunland ingredients in items they prepared and packaged themselves.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said there are now 30 salmonella 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.

Some of the brand names included in the recall are Target's Archer Farms, Safeway's Open Nature, Earth Balance, Fresh & Easy, Late July, Heinen's, Joseph's, Natural Value, Naturally More, Peanut Power Butter, Serious Food, Snaclite Power, Sprouts Farmers Market, Sprouts, Sunland and Dogsbutter.

Sunland's recall includes 101 products, and several retailers have issued additional recalls including items made with Sunland ingredients.

Those sickened reported becoming ill between June 11 and Sept. 11, according to the CDC. Almost two-thirds of those who became ill were children under the age of 10. No deaths have been reported.

Salmonella can cause diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps 12 hours to 72 hours after infection. It is most dangerous to children, the elderly and others with weak immune systems.

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