Peanut butter and peanut products have been recalled due to their link to a salmonella outbreak from New Mexico's Sunland Inc., news sources report.
The list of recalled products expanded to include over 400 products, which included items such as MoonPies and ice cream, according to the Food and Drug Administration and Sunland Inc.. The FDA warns customers to discard any products in association with Sunland in fear of contracting Salmonella, ABC News reports.
The rare Salmonella strain has infected 35 people across 19 states and has not resulted in any deaths thus far, according to the FDA. Salmonella is a serious bacterial infection that can be fatal for people with weak immune systems, children, and elderly or frail people, The Columbus Dispatch reports.
Sunland employees obtain their jobs, however instead of producing peanut products they are working to clean and update the plant. Until the plant is active, the actively harvested nuts will be stored in drying trailers. Since peanuts store well, one harvest can provide enough peanuts for a year's worth of production, The Seattle Times reports.
The FDA labeled peanut butter as a high-risk food following a 2007 incident of Salmonella poisoning at a ConAgra facility in Nebraska that sickened over 400 people. It was suspected by ConAgra officials that a leaky roof and faulty sprinkler system allowed for moisture to mix with dormant Salmonella bacteria creating an outbreak. FDA intensified its investigation of all peanut facilities since the outbreak, The Seattle Times reports.
Problems in the Sunland plant had been found in two FDA inspections in 2009 and 2010. The inspections found "objectionable conditions," however, they did not meet the FDA's threshold for action. Reasons behind the FDA inspecting Sunland twice in two years and the details of the "objectionable conditions" were not released, The Seattle Times reported.