What is in this article?:
- Sunland Inc., the nation's largest organic peanut butter processor, resumed operations at its Portales, N.M., plant May 21.
- Company Vice President Katalin Coburn said plant officials are excited to be back after a salmonella outbreak linked to Sunland products last fall caused the plant to be shuttered for months.
- Texas grower Brent Nelson said the closing of the plant caught all parties by surprise.
Sunland Inc., the nation's largest organic peanut butter processor, has announced they are one step closer to getting their peanut products back on grocery market shelves after resuming operations May 21.
Company Vice President Katalin Coburn reports production is back in operation and plant officials are excited to be back after a salmonella outbreak linked to Sunland products last fall caused the plant to be shuttered for months.
“I really can’t predict that just yet [when first shipments will ship]", Coburn said. “But I would estimate products will be back on the shelf within a month.”
She said it shouldn’t be too long until people see Sunland’s products back at retail locations nationwide.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration shut down plant operations last fall after reports that Sunland products had been connected to 41 cases of salmonella in 20 states. FDA inspectors cited the company after a month-long investigation, saying salmonella had been discovered in 28 locations throughout the plant and in several nut butter samples.
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Company officials say they have been working closely with FDA inspectors to correct all problems before getting approval to resume processing operations. The company also hired an independent troubleshooter to help develop a comprehensive plan of sanitation to correct problems.