Peanut butter is produced in 2005 at Sunland Inc.'s plant in Portales, N.M. (Photo: Richard Pipes, Albuquerque Journal, via AP)
WASHINGTON -- The Food and Drug Administration says a New Mexico
peanut company linked to a recent salmonella outbreak distributed peanut
and almond butters even after testing showed the products were
Sunland Inc. is the nation's largest organic peanut
butter processor, though it also produces many non-organic products. The
company recalled hundreds of nuts and nut butters in September and
October after one of its products, Trader Joe's Valencia Creamy Peanut
Butter, was linked to 41 salmonella illnesses around the country.
FDA said in a report released this week that government inspectors
found 28 different samples of salmonella in Sunland's plant. The agency
also found improper handling of the products, unclean equipment and
uncovered trailers of peanuts outside the facility that were exposed to
rain and birds.