Product Recalls & Health Alerts

Schools told to discard Smucker’s Uncrustables over salmonella concern.

The AP (10/19) reports Federal and state officials have asked “school lunch programs” to discard any Smucker’s Uncrustables sandwiches because they “might contain peanut butter” produced by Portales, New Mexico-based Sunland Inc., which the FDA placed under recall “because of potential salmonella contamination.” USDA spokesperson Alyn Kiel said that the USDA “coordinated with state agencies to immediately notify individual school districts.” Smucker’s spokesperson Maribeth Badertscher said Thursday that the JM Smucker Co. distributed a “‘limited production runs’ of 72-count bulk packs” of Smucker’s Uncrustables sandwiches to “schools under the National School Lunch Program.” The move is one of precaution, as Badertscher explained that the “Orrville, Ohio-based company tests all the incoming USDA-supplied peanut butter” and it performs additional tests on “finished products before distributing them.” Badertscher said the recalled lots “have either expired or will expire soon.” Notably, 35 illnesses in “19 states have been linked to Sunland.”

        Separately, the AP (10/19) notes that Sunland, which “operates the country’s largest USDA certified organic peanut processing plant, first closed its peanut butter plant late last month,” after the FDA and the CDC “linked a salmonella outbreak to peanut butter it produced for Trader Joe’s.” The company’s “roasting and processing facilities were also closed and the recall expanded this month to include peanuts and other nut butters after the FDA found salmonella at the plant.” Although the “illnesses have only been linked to the Trader Joe’s product, Sunland Inc., which manufactures products for Target, Costco and other major retailers, has recalled everything made in the plant since March 2010 – a total of 240 products.” Notably, the FDA classified peanut butter as a “high-risk food” and bolstered its investigations of processing plants “after a 2007 outbreak that sickened more than 400 people who ate peanut butter processed at a ConAgra facility in Nebraska.”

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Salmonella outbreak in peanuts affects numerous products nationwide.

The AP (10/19) reports the recent recall of peanut-butter products “has affected peanut butter and nut products sold at major retailers around the country, raising concerns about the long-term impact on the industry – especially in products grown and processed in the flat, dusty eastern New Mexico town of Portales. The region is home to the prized Valencia peanut, which represents just a small percentage of the nation’s massive peanut crop, but is favored for natural and organic peanut butter products because of its sweet flavor.” The AP mentions that the “salmonella outbreak that has been traced to a New Mexico peanut factory.”

Firm recalling 16,850 toddler’s chairs over laceration, choking risks.

NBC (10/19) reports on its website that “Minnesota-based Trend Lab is recalling about 16,850 toddler’s chairs because of a potential laceration and choking hazards.” The US Consumer Product Safety Commission has reported that “staples in the binding on the back of the chair may come loose, posing a laceration or choking hazard if swallowed. The recalled children’s upholstered toddler chairs in Club style and Mod style are 24 inches wide by 18 inches tall by 17 inches deep.” WBAL-TV Baltimore (10/19) and WDIV-TV Detroit (10/19) also cover this story.