FDA Suspends Registration Of Sunland Peanut Butter Plant

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FDA Suspends Registration Of Sunland Peanut Butter Plant

Recently, peanut butter has been touted as the source of a Salmonella outbreak which has left at least 41 people sick in 20 states in the U.S. News reports claim the company that makes the organic peanut butter involved, Sunland Inc., has a long history of health violations. Now, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has used its authority to suspend the registration of the Portales, NM based plant producing the tainted peanut butter products. This is the first time in history the FDA has used this authority, signed into law in January of 2011 by the U.S. Food Safety Modernization Act. Sunland is the largest organic peanut butter producer in the U.S., and without this registration will not be permitted to sell products within the country. The company's trouble with Salmonella contaminated products has continued for several years; in fact, between June of 2009 and September of this year, product testing records indicate that 11 different product lots of nut butter revealed the presence of Salmonella. A statement by the FDA also revealed that at least some portion of 8 product lots of peanut butter manufactured by Sunland between March of 2010 and September 2012 tested as positive for Salmonella in the company's own testing program, but the products were distributed to consumers anyway. The company denies shipping peanut butter products that were contaminated to consumers. After the outbreak announcement in September, Sunland ceased operations of the plant voluntarily. Ironically, an announcement made by Sunland that it planned to resume operations on Tuesday November 27th was followed just hours later by the FDA's registration suspension. Whether the plant will halt production remains to be seen. As a leader in traceability systems, the staff at Markem-Imaje can only imagine the devastation this type of negative news will have on Sunland Inc. However, it is a manufacturer's responsibility to do all in their power to ensure the foods they produce are safe for consumers. Count on Markem-Imaje for industrial printing equipment and traceability solutions that are unsurpassed in quality, reliability and cost.

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