FDA closes Sunland Inc.’s New Mexico plant
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has suspended the registration of Sunland Inc.'s Portales, N.M., food facility, due to the recent Salmonella Bredeney outbreak that sickened 41 people across 20 states. The agency cited the fact that tainted peanut butter had been linked to Sunland, coupled with the company's "history of violations."
Associated Press reports stated that the facility is the U.S.'s largest organic peanut butter processor. The closing was the FDA's first use of its registration suspension authority under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), which enables the agency to take such action when it finds that a facility in question has a reasonable probability of causing serious adverse health consequences, according to the FDA.
Under the new FSMA authority, the food facility's registration has been rescinded in light of the recent Salmonella outbreak, which was tied to Trader Joe's Valencia Creamy Salted Peanut Butter, manufactured by Sunland.
Trader Joe's pulled the product from its shelves in September, and Sunland voluntarily recalled almond butter and peanut butter products made on the same product line as Trader Joe's Valencia Creamy Salted Peanut Butter between May and September, according to the FDA.