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California Schools Ordered To Destroy Recalled Peanut Butter Products

A voluntary recall becomes mandatory as the California Department of Education orders all school districts to destroy stocks of recalled peanut butter linked to potential salmonella contamination.

Schools in California have been ordered to destroy any peanut butter products that are part of the nationwide Sunland Inc. recall, the state Department of Education announced Friday.

Related: Peanut Butter Recall List Expands as Salmonella Outbreak Worsens

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.  

Marc Chagall October 15, 2012 at 02:46 PM
What schools in CA allow peanut butter? My kid's school won't let us pack peanut butter in their lunch boxes.
Stephanie Harper October 15, 2012 at 04:23 PM
Marc- I believe it depends on the school districts' restrictions and how they handle allergies on a case by case basis.
Andrew October 15, 2012 at 04:25 PM
Marc - I saw some of your work in the Paris galleries. Are you still painting ?
Marc Chagall October 15, 2012 at 04:26 PM
I wish my kid's school allowed it. PB&J is easy to prepare and a home run with most kids. I was just surprised to learn any school still allowed it. Thanks for the info!
Marc Chagall October 15, 2012 at 04:32 PM
Andrew - "One must always be careful not to let one's work be covered with moss."
Stephanie Harper October 15, 2012 at 05:32 PM
Marc-No problem. I know as parents, we had to sign a consent form stating we knew about food allergies to peanuts or other, however, our children are still allowed to bring pb&j sandwiches to school. In the case above, I am glad the FDA was able to expand their recall.
Jose October 16, 2012 at 05:42 AM
Marc: Guns vs peanut butter is a long-standing economic and constitutional debate. Currently, the production of guns has priority in our economy, and this is reflected in the school curriculum. Nevertheless, it is your constitutional right to pack pb to school, and only by exercising this right can we be sure that our children will be able to pass it on to their children. "Never give up! Never surrender!"

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