Salmonella outbreak over but FDA investigation continues
However, an US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) investigation remains ongoing.
The people sickened by the outbreak strain of Salmonella Braenderup were reported since January 1.
Ill people were identified in Connecticut (1), Iowa (1), New Mexico (1), Tennessee (1), and Texas (2) and one person was hospitalized.
Peanut butter source
Collaborative investigation efforts indicated that almond and peanut butter manufactured by nSpired Natural Foods, Inc, a division of the Hain Celestial Group, was the likely source.
The FDA isolated the same strain of Salmonella Braenderup from environmental samples collected from an nSpired Natural Foods facility during routine inspections in February and July.
Between July 15 and August 29, FDA conducted an inspection at nSpired Natural Foods.
During the inspection, FDA investigators made eight inspectional observations.
These included the firm failing to appropriately clean and sanitize equipment, with food residue being noticed on a food contact surface after cleaning.
An employee not washing hands thoroughly when they might have become soiled or contaminated during facility operations.
Food contact surfaces not designed to withstand their intended use, with investigators finding cracks in plastic buckets used in the facility.
The procedure to sanitize equipment has not been shown to provide adequate sanitizing treatment and the plant was not built in a way to allow the floor to be adequately cleaned and kept clean.
On August 19, nSpired Natural Foods voluntarily recalled certain lots of almond and peanut butters because of potential contamination with Salmonella.
The recalled brands included Arrowhead Mills, MaraNatha, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Safeway, and Kroger.
Products were distributed across the US, Canada, Hong Kong, United Arab Emirates, and Dominican Republic.
CDC said the recalled nut butter products have a long shelf life and may still be in people’s homes. For a full list of products affected click here.