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Salmonella outbreak spreads; Recall expanded to other nut products

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What started as a simple recall of Trader Joe’s Valencia Creamy Salted Peanut Butter due to a possible contamination of salmonella has now expanded to 101 products from several retailers, including Whole Foods, Target and Safeway. An updated list of products and retailers was posted on October 3, 2012 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The Centers for Disease control now confirms 30 infections in 19 states. No deaths have been reported.

In the Sunland, Inc. recall announcement, Jimmie Shearer, President and CEO of Sunland, Inc., states, "There is nothing more important to us than the health and safety of our customers, particularly the many families who enjoy our peanut butter everyday. While FDA, CDC, and State Health Agencies investigate to confirm the cause of illnesses reported, as a precautionary step, we have decided to voluntarily recall our Almond Peanut and Cashew Butters, Tahini and Roasted Blanched Peanut products manufactured between May 1, 2012 and September 24, 2012. If you purchased these products, do not eat them. Please return the product to your supermarket for a full refund or dispose of it."

Symptoms from salmonella poisoning include nausea, vomiting and diarrhea – which can sometimes be bloody – abdominal cramps and fever. Medical treatment is not always necessary, though it may be in some cases which become severe. Infants, young children, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems are at greater risk for developing a severe reaction.

This recall comes as a shock to many who depend on natural and organic products to ensure their food is safe. Consumers are growing more and more frustrated with each food recall and demanding to know how our food is continually becoming contaminated.

©2012 Jennifer L. Cruz. All Rights Reserved.

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Jennifer Cruz is also the National Gardening Examiner and the Little Rock Natural Health Examiner.

She can also be found on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

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