US: Peanut butter salmonella outbreak "over"

By Michelle Russell | 3 December 2012

The FDA last week confirmed in a notice it had suspended Sunlands food facility registration

The FDA last week confirmed in a notice it had suspended Sunland's food facility registration

The US salmonella outbreak linked to peanut butter appears to be over, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC issued the notice on Friday (30 November). The outbreak saw 42 people across 20 states fall ill.

Health officials had said a likely source of the outbreak was peanut butter on sale at US retailer Trader Joe's and produced by US group Sunland.

Last week, the US Food and Drug Administration suspended Sunland's registration to operate and prohibited it from distributing food "in the interest of protecting public health".

In a statement last week following the suspension, Sunland said it had hoped to recommence its shelling operation on 26 November and informed the FDA of the plan in a letter dated 20 November.

"Sunland expected that any agency concerns with its plans would be part of the ongoing dialogue with the agency," it said. "The agency's order suspending Sunland's registration on 26 November was unexpected and the company is disappointed by this development."

Despite this, Sunland said its "goal remains the same - to take all appropriate measures for the safe processing and handling of raw peanuts in its shelling plant and the safe production of nut butter products in its peanut butter plant".

The company said it is continuing to work with FDA in order to "accomplish all steps necessary to begin shelling operations in its peanut mill as soon as possible".

Sectors: Condiments, dressings & sauces, Food safety

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