In September, October and November of 2012, public health officials from at least 20 states, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that a Salmonella serotype Bredeney outbreak had been traced to the consumption of products made by Sunland, Inc. of New Mexico. Trader Joe's Valencia Creamy Salted Peanut Butter made with Sea Salt was the initial product suspected to be the source of the Salmonella outbreak, but further investigation led to the identification of additional nut butter products as potential sources of Salmonella infections. Sunland issued a recall of peanut butter and nut butter products shortly after the Salmonella outbreak announcement.
Marler Clark filed 2 lawsuits against Sunland and Trader Joe's in early October, 2012. The lawsuits were filed on behalf of Massachusetts and North Carolina parents whose children became ill with Salmonella infections after consuming Trader Joe's brand Valencia peanut butter made with sea salt.
On October 12, 2012, Sunland, Inc. expanded its peanut butter recall to include raw and roasted shelled and in-shell peanuts after FDA testing found Salmonella bacteria in raw peanuts at its processing facility. The original recall initiated by Sunland on September 24, 2012 was expanded to include Sunland brand and other private-label brand peanut butter and other nut butter products. Peanut products recalled for potential Salmonella Bredeney contamination included peanut butter, cashew butter, and almond butter containing various ingredients. All were processed in the Sunland facility, and many were sold by Trader Joe's. Target's Archer Farms brand products were also recalled for potential Salmonella Bredeney contamination.
On October 13, 2012, FDA analysis confirmed that Salmonella Bredeney had been found in Sunland's nut butter facility.
Marler Clark represented additional victims of the Salmonella Bredeney outbreak linked to peanut and other nut butter products in claims against Sunland. All claims, including the lawsuits, have been resolved.