(PRWEB) October 31, 2012
Merman Law Firm, a legal team of food poisoning lawyers dedicated to helping consumers who fall ill as a result of contaminated food products, say that more illness should be expected as the peanut butter recall continues to expand. A voluntary recall of Sunland Inc. nut and nut butter products now also includes raw and roasted peanuts, and has vastly increased to include more than 400 products. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced on Oct. 5 that environmental samples taken at the company’s production facility showed the presence of Salmonella.
“Peanut Butter contamination is particularly insidious because we keep it in our refrigerators and pantries longer than most food items,” said food poisoning lawyer Derek Merman, of Merman Law Firm. “And much of the time, it stays in the pantry unopened for a long time. That means that contaminated peanut butter remains in the stream of commerce and consumption much longer than inherently perishable food-stuffs.”
The FDA warns consumers not to consume any products associated with Sunland and discard them immediately.
A voluntary recall often occurs when food or other consumer products are found to be unsafe. In the case of the recent peanut butter recall, at least 35 people in 19 states have experienced illness as a result of salmonella infection related to Sunland products. The recall began after salmonella infections were linked to Trader Joe’s Creamy Salted Valencia Peanut Butter, a brand manufactured by Sunland. The company sells nuts and nut butters to large grocery stores and other food distributors across the U.S.
Illnesses so far linked to the salmonella contamination are reported to have occurred between June 11 and Sept. 11, according to the Centers for Disease Control, which investigates foodborne illness outbreaks. No deaths have been reported, but two-thirds of the cases are children younger than 10 years old.
The recall, which initially covered products made between May 1 and Sept. 24, has been expanding to include all products manufactured in Sunland’s peanut butter plant after March 1, 2010. Products recalled include peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter and tahini products, and roasted blanched peanut products, as well as Thai ginger butter, chocolate butter and banana butter and many more products that contain these nut butters as ingredients. Whole Foods, Target, Fresh & Easy, Giant Food, Harry and David, Stop & Shop Supermarket Co. and several other retailers have been included in the recall, and brand names that fall under the recall include -- but aren’t limited to -- Archer Farms, Earth Balance, Late July, Heinen’s, Joseph’s, Natural Value, Naturally More, Peanut Power Butter, Sprouts Farmers Market, Dogsbutter, Open Nature and Serious Food.
As the second most common foodborne illness, Salmonella infections reported each year number about 42,000, with many more cases likely not reported. Symptoms of Salmonella food poisoning include diarrhea, fever and cramps within 12 to 24 hours after initial infection. Typically, those infected are sick from four to seven days, and most healthy individuals will recover without treatment. However, those most at risk of serious illness and, in the worst cases, death are children, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems.
This recall and related illnesses demonstrate how widespread the effects can be when a manufacturer fails to meet food safety standards. Food makers and sellers are trusted to use safe and sanitary practices in order to protect the public from illnesses such as the current Salmonella outbreak. When safety standards are bypassed, there is a case to be made for negligence on the part of the manufacturer as sickened individuals can face large medical bills, lost wages and even long-term health effects.
The food poisoning lawyers of Merman Law Firm are dedicated to educating consumers about food recalls and protecting the public from foodborne illnesses. Consumers who have been affected by Salmonella are encouraged to contact their healthcare providers. If you or a loved one has fallen ill as a result of the Sunland peanut butter recall and the contaminated products associated with it, visit http://www.thefoodpoisoninglawyers.com/salmonella to get more information and talk to a food poisoning lawyer today.