New Mexico girl gets salmonella from tainted peanut butter product

Posted at: 10/19/2012 6:25 PM
Updated at: 10/19/2012 9:33 PM
By: Erica Zucco, KOB Eyewitness News

A 5-year-old girl in Roosevelt County has been hit with salmonella as a result of eating several products containing peanut butter, in a case the New Mexico Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control said is linked to recalled peanut butter from the Sunland, Inc. plant in Portales.

Officials said that the child has recovered from the illness and did not need to be hospitalized, but that it’s important for parents of kids five and younger to keep an eye out for symptoms of salmonella, because the fever and stomach cramps can lead to more severe complications.

Sunland, Inc. began a voluntary recall on Sept. 24, 2012 of nut products with expiration dates dated between Sept. 12, 2012 and Oct. 12, 2013 after learning some of the products could be contaminated. The New Mexico Environment Department Food Program has been working to make sure all of the recalled products are off store shelves, but they encourage families to check their pantries and dispose of the products immediately. Even if some of the product has been consumed with no problems, people should still throw them away. The product should be disposed of in a closed plastic bag and placed in a sealed trash can to prevent people or animals from eating it.

Symptoms of salmonella usually begin around 12-72 hours after eating the contaminated food and can include diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps. In most people, the illness ends in a few days, but experts say you should still get checked by your doctor if you think you may have the illness.

Sunland, Inc. will be working with an expert microbiologist specializing in peanuts next week to determine if any changes need to be made within the plant. Their spokesperson said they are doing everything they can to prevent something like this from happening again.

You can view a full list of products recalled by Sunland here:

http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm323824.htm

The recall has also trickled down to many products that include the peanut butter. The FDA has compiled a list of those products and posted it on their website here:

http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodSafety/CORENetwork/ucm320413.htm#recalled

Sunland, Inc. said any products produced after the dates affected are clear of contaminants.