What do ice cream, salads, and cookies all have in common? Peanuts! And, um, salmonella.
Nearly three weeks after it first began, the nationwide recall on all manner of peanutty products has expanded dramatically — and it’s hitting the organic sector particularly hard. The recall now includes raw and processed nut goods produced over the last year by New Mexico company Sunland Inc., a big producer of conventional peanuts and the nation’s largest exporter of organic peanut stuffs. The Food and Drug Administration has filled its Flickr stream with helpful photos of hundreds of recalled, delicious-looking treats.
From dollar stores to Whole Foods, Sunland’s massive recall has touched nearly everyone in America who eats food. So far, 35 people in 19 states have fallen ill.
The FDA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are investigating the rare strain of bacteria, salmonella bredeney, that’s been found in both Sunland’s peanut products and processing equipment. So much for self-regulation!
Portales, N.M, where Sunland is based, is a peanut and cattle town. Sooo any bets on the source of the infection?
There’s nothing like some disease-causing food-borne bacteria to make you realize how pervasive peanuts are in our increasingly centralized food system, and how vulnerable our veggies and legumes seem to be to waste from nearby livestock.