So you probably heard about the Trader Joe's peanut butter recall over the weekend. However, Salmonella doesn't like to limit itself to just one store or just one product.
Now the company that provides Trader Joe's Creamy Salted Valencia Peanut Butter, Sunland Inc., is recalling 76 other types of peanut butter and nut butters, according to the Associated Press. The other butters were recalled because they were processed by the same equipment as the tainted Trader Joe's brand. Currently, Sunland's plant in New Mexico is being inspected by the FDA.
Which company could potentially be liable for causing customers to get sick?
Well, both companies could be liable for placing a dangerous product on the market. Under products-liability laws, any party in the chain of distribution could be liable for a defective product. So even though Trader Joe's didn't produce the peanut butter, it could be required to pay someone's hospital bills for selling it.
However, that isn't usually the case because when a retailer is sued, it can then bring in the other parties that designed and manufactured the product. Once it is determined that the product caused the harm, the retailer, designer, and manufacturer would argue amongst themselves about which party was most at fault for the defect.
After the initial Trader Joe's peanut butter recall, Sunland expanded the recall to prevent additional illnesses linked to its products. So far, 29 people have reported being sick, with 75% of them being children under 18, according to the AP. No one has died.
The question that still stands is where the Salmonella came from. There could be an issue at the farm where the peanuts were grown, or there could be an issue at the processing plant.
The products recalled by Sunland include its almond, peanut, and cashew butters, along with tahini and roasted blanched peanut products manufactured between May 1 and Sept. 24, according to Sunland's press release. The full list of recalled products is available in the press release.
If you've purchased one of the products, bring it to your grocer to obtain a refund or throw it in the trash. Do not eat it. If you've been sickened by this product and want to pursue legal action to get reimbursed for your expenses, contact a local personal injury attorney.
- Food Recalls (FindLaw)
- Dole Lettuce Recall Probably Recalls E.Coli Outbreak of 2006 (FindLaw's Philadelphia Personal Injury Law Blog)
- FDA Investigates Multistate Outbreak of Salmonella Bredeney Infections Possibly Linked to Trader Joe's Valencia Creamy Salted Peanut Butter (FDA)