Sunland Peanut Butter Plant Operations Suspended
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) halted operations this week at a New Mexico food plant linked to an outbreak of salmonella-contaminated peanut butter that sickened 41 people from 20 states.
Reuters reports that the FDA decided to suspend the food facility registration of Sunland Inc. in the aftermath of the outbreak and a three-year string of food safety violations by the company. Without a food facility registration, the company cannot manufacture, process, pack, store or distribute food for consumption in the U.S.
Sunland issued recalls for peanut butter and other nut products made at its plant earlier this year.
The FDA said that a review of Sunland’s product testing records showed that 11 lots of nut butter showed the presence of Salmonella between June 2009 and September 2012. Between March 2010 and September 2012, at least a portion of eight lots of nut butter that the company’s own testing program identified as containing Salmonella was distributed by the company to consumers. The FDA also found the presence of Salmonella during inspections in September and October.
Salmonella causes diarrhea, fever, and abdominal pain and can prove to be life threatening for the elderly, children, and people with a weak immune system.
In an earlier statement Sunland said that it had never distributed any food products that were found to be contaminated by microorganisms.
The FDA, however, said that it would revoke the suspension of company’s registration only when Sunland implements guidelines for producing safe products, reports Reuters.
If you or a loved one has been harmed by an unsafe food product, contact Sokolove Law today for a free legal consultation and to find out if a product liability lawyer may be able to help you.