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Remember that big peanut butter recall a few months ago?
Authorities may have discovered the source of the contaminated sandwich spread that caused at least 41 people to get sick.
According to new observations posted on the Food and Drug Administration website, conditions at the Sunland, Inc. facility in Portales, New Mexico, may have contributed to outbreak of salmonella linked to peanut butter and almond butter products.
Investigators determined the following violations at the facility during inspections that took place in September:
- Sunland employees did not properly handle equipment, utensils and containers used to hold and store food.
- There were no sinks to wash hands in the production or packaging area.
- Employees handled ready-to-package peanuts with their bare hands.
Additionally, there were no records providing proof that production equipment was cleaned, and the same bags were used to store both raw and roasted peanuts. Raw peanuts were also found outside the facility in open trailers exposed to birds and rain.
Gross. So gross.
The company's president and CEO Jimmie Shearer issued a statement on their website addressing the FDA's latest inspection report, saying "At no time in its twenty four year history has Sunland, Inc. released for distribution any products that it knew to be potentially contaminated with harmful microorganisms."
Shearer says they plan to continue cooperating with the FDA and have already submitted a response to the agency addressing each issue of concern.
To view a complete list of the recalled products (peanut butter can sit on shelves forever, you know), visit the FDA's recall site here.