Consumer Lawyers

FDA Closes Peanut Plant Tied to Massive Recalls

In Food Recalls on November 28, 2012 at 10:34 pm

The shutdown of the Sunland Inc. plant in Portales, N.M., was the first of its kind under the 2011 Food Safety Modernization Act, the FDA noted. Forty-one people in 20 states have been sickened by Sunland products tainted with the strain salmonella Bredeney, the agency added.

The FDA issued a scathing report about the salmonella outbreak and Sunland’s culpability, including a finding that Sunland detected salmonella in nut butter samples over a 30-month period ending in September 2012 but still distributed some of the products.

Among the agency’s other discoveries:

  • FDA inspections in September and October 2012 revealed salmonella on plant surfaces, in 13 nut butter samples and in a sample of raw peanuts.
  • Equipment, containers and utensils used to hold and store food were improperly handled.
  • Employees wiped gloved hands on their street clothes and failed to wash their hands or change gloves.
  • The plant lacked hand-washing sinks in the production and packaging areas.
  • Employees placed bare hands on finished peanuts.
  • The same bags were used to hold raw and roasted peanuts.
  • Raw in-shell peanuts were stored in uncovered trailers open to birds and rain.


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