Processing Plant Behind Great Peanut Butter Recall Of 2012 Won’t Reopen Just Yet

So tasty. So potentially contaminated.

So tasty. So potentially contaminated.

The Great Peanut Butter Recall of 2012 began with a few voluntary recall notices on the shelves of Trader Joe’s, and has now escalated to the Food and Drug Administration making an unprecedented move to shut down the plant where the offending nut products were processed. Sunland, Inc. of New Mexico shut down at the beginning of the recall in September, and had been scheduled to reopen last week.

The FDA has been investigating the plant since September, and found some very unpleasant things. They found salmonella bacteria at 28 sites in the plant, and contaminated samples of various nut butters. Inspectors also found unclean equipment and employees handling products improperly. Uncovered peanuts were left outside to collect rain and bird poop. Earlier inspections of the plant showed other badness, like employees sticking fingers in empty jars and other violations, but the FDA didn’t do anything with that information until Trader Joe’s customers reported their illnesses.

“Consumers can be assured that products will not leave this facility until we determine they have implemented preventive measures that are effective to produce safe products,” FDA Commissioner for Foods Michael Taylor told media.

It just takes one big recall for us to remember how different parts of our food system are intertwined. Terrifyingly, deliciously intertwined.

FDA halts Sunland’s reopening [Portales News=Tribune]

PREVIOUSLY:
Great Peanut Butter Recall Of 2012 Now Includes Bagged Nuts, Ice Cream, Candy