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Peanuts, Nut Products Added to Peanut Butter Recall

More than 70 varieties of raw and roasted peanuts are added to a massive Sunland Inc. recall for possible salmonella contamination.

A recall that began with a contaminated batch of peanut butter sold at Trader Joe's and which expanded to other stores, has now expanded again. The recall now includes raw and roasted in-shell and shelled peanuts, Sunland Inc. announced Friday in a news release posted on the Food and Drug Administration website.

The nuts were processed in the Sunland Peanut Processing Plant in Portales, N.M. The same plant processed the two Trader Joe's Valencia Peanut Butter varieties linked to an outbreak of salmonella bradeney, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Products in the most recent expanded recall include cookies sold at Whole Foods to nut butters from Harry & David, the protein bistro box at Starbucks to chocolate peanut butter cup gelato from Talenti. 

The potential salmonella contamination could cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, the elderly or others with compromised immune systems. Healthy persons who get infected with salmonella experience fever, abdominal pain, vomiting and a most unpleasant distress of the lower intestinal system.

As of the most recent CDC report—released Monday—35 peanut-butter related illnesses had been reported in 19 states. Of those 35 people, eight people have been hospitalized, and 63 percent were children younger than 10 years old.

FDA analysis completed Saturday found traces of salmonella matching the outbreak strain in environmental samples taken at the New Mexico plant.

"We are most concerned about the individuals experiencing these recent illnesses," Sunland President and CEO Jimmie Shearer said in a statement. "Sunland is dedicating all of its resources to the identification and correction of any conditions which have created the potential for Salmonella contamination in any of our products. We are reviewing every step in our manufacturing process and are confident that the expertise being applied to the investigation will enable Sunland to take any necessary corrective measures and once again produce products that families will enjoy with confidence."

The first Sunland recall was issued Sept. 24. It was expanded to include other types of nut butters on Oct. 4.

The products recalled Friday were distributed to produce houses, grocery stores and online stores, according to Sunland's news release. Recalled roasted peanuts were distributed between April 12 and Friday and have best-by dates between Oct. 12, 2012 and April 12, 2013.

Recalled raw peanuts were distributed from Oct. 12, 2011 until Friday and either have a best-by date between Oct. 12, 2012 and Oct. 12, 2013 or a "crop year" marking of 2011 or 2012. (See below for a complete list of recalled products from Sunland.)

People who have purchased the recalled peanuts should dispose of them immediately.

In addition to the various peanut products and nut butters, ice creams, cookies, brownies, energy bars and even packaged lunches have been recalled in connection with the Sunland recalls. These products contained Sunland nut products processed at the New Mexico plant.

The FDA has posted a searchable database of all products recalled in connection with the original peanut butter recall.

For more information, contact Sunland Inc. at 1-866-837-1018 or visit the FDA website dedicated to the recall.

Local Editor Nicole Mooradian contributed to this report.

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