Peanut butter recall expands to several major retailers

A recall of peanut butter that began at Trader Joe's grocery stores last week has expanded to other nut products and to more food stores, including several that operate in Maryland.

In addition to Trader Joe's, the recall includes some nut butters and nut products sold at Whole Foods Market, Target, Safeway, Harry and David, Stop & Shop Supermarket Co. and Giant Food of Landover.

Some of those retailers used ingredients supplied by New Mexico-based Sunland Inc. in items they prepared and packaged themselves.

Sunland, which sells its nuts and nut butters to large groceries and other food distributors around the country, recalled products under multiple brand names in September after salmonella illnesses were linked to Trader Joe's Creamy Salted Valencia Peanut Butter, one of the brands Sunland manufactures.

The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene advised consumers two weeks ago not to consume or purchase the Trader Joe's peanut butter. Sunland has since enlarged its recall to include almond and cashew butters, tahini, and blanched and roasted peanut products.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 30 salmonella illnesses in 19 states have been traced to the Trader Joe's peanut butter. That figure includes a child in Maryland who was not hospitalized and has recovered.

No other foods have been linked to the illnesses, but Sunland recalled other products manufactured on the same equipment as the Trader Joe's product.

Some of the brand names included in the expanded recall are Target's Archer Farms, Safeway's Open Nature, Earth Balance, Late July, Joseph's, Natural Value, Naturally More, Peanut Power Butter, Serious Food, Snaclite Power and Dogsbutter.

Sunland's recall includes more than 100 products, and several retailers have issued additional recalls of items made with Sunland ingredients.

Those sickened reported becoming ill between June 11 and Sept. 11, according to the CDC. Almost two-thirds of those who became ill were children under 10. No deaths have been reported.

Salmonella can cause diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection. It is most dangerous for children, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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