School Districts to Destroy Recalled Peanut Butter

The California Department of Education announced Friday that school districts have been instructed to destroy stocks of recalled peanut butter linked to potential salmonella contamination.

School districts in California will destroy their supplies of peanut butter that are part of a nationwide recall by the manufacturer, Sunland Inc., the state Department of Education announced Friday.

A voluntary recall of some products made with peanut butter produced by Sunland began Sept. 23 after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration reported salmonella contamination in a jar of Trader Joe’s Valencia Creamy Peanut Butter.

On Oct. 5, the FDA announced that the recall had expanded to at least 300 products sold under a variety of brands. Some included almond butter, cashew butter, tahini, and roasted blanched peanut products. The agency at that time said 35 cases of salmonella-linked sickness had been reported in 19 states. 

Only certain batches, not all containers of the products, are subject to the recall. The recall list can be found on the FDA's website

The peanut butter supplies that are to be destroyed by California school districts include a range of products, such as 5-lb. containers of Sunland Creamy Peanut Butter and Smucker's 72-count bulk packs of "Uncrustables" peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

"There are no cases reported of California students being affected by the product," the Department of Education said in a news release.

"The peanut butter was purchased by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the National School Lunch and Commodity Supplemental Food Programs," the department said. "About 2,072 cases of Sunland, Inc. peanut butter affected by the recall were sent to 320 school districts throughout the state. Another 23,040 cases were shipped to six California food banks."

A Department of Education representative said the decision to destroy the supplies came after the Department of Agriculture ordered the recall, making it a federal government recall. The recall that was initiated by Sunland, and followed by Trader Joe's and other companies that use Sunland-produced peanut butter, is a voluntary recall by the companies.

A check early this morning, Saturday, of the Department of Agriculture's list of current recalls on its website did not find Sunland peanut butter products included.  

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