Harry & David joins list on nut-products recall

A variety of retailers and distributors, including Harry & David, have announced recalls of food possibly tainted by salmonella from the Sunland Inc., peanut butter plant in Portales, N.M.

Medford-based Harry & David was joined by Trader Joe's, Whole Foods Market, Target, Safeway, Costco, Fresh & Easy, Sprouts, Heinen's, Stop and Shop Supermarket Co., Giant Food in recalling items with nut butters and nut products made after March 1, 2010.

Harry & David is among the retailers that use Sunland ingredients in their own products or in store-brand peanut butter.

The local company placed its Harry & David Apple Snack Box; Wolferman's Bee Sweet Gift Basket; Wolferman's Hearty Snack Gift Basket; Wolferman's All-Day Assortment Gift Basket; and Wolferman's Father's Day Basket items on an expanded voluntary recall.

Earlier, Harry & David placed a recall on its 12-ounce jars of Harry & David Crunchy Almond and Peanut Butter; Harry & David Creamy Banana Peanut Spread; Harry & David Creamy Caramel Peanut Spread; and Harry & David Creamy Raspberry Peanut Spread with "best used by" dates of March 1, 2011, through Sept. 24, 2013.

Products subject to the recall were sold nationwide through Harry & David and Wolferman's catalogs and websites, as well as through Harry & David stores, between May 26, 2010 and Sept. 25. Individual jars of the recalled peanut butter products sold through Harry & David stores have UPC numbers of 780994738713 (Creamy Banana Peanut Spread), 780994738720 (Creamy Raspberry Peanut Spread), 780994757868 (Creamy Caramel Peanut Spread), or 780994738737 (Crunchy Almond and Peanut Butter) printed on the Bar Code. The recalled multi-component food items have lot code numbers of 0092M through 2372M or 0092H through 2372H.

The Food and Drug Administration said Friday that Sunland components used in Trader Joe's peanut butter are now linked to 35 salmonella illnesses in 19 states — most of them in children under the age of 10.

Washington state health officials have also confirmed the presence of salmonella in an opened jar of the Trader Joe's peanut butter found in a victim's home, the FDA said.

Those illnesses triggered Sunland to recall everything made in the plant since March 2010 — a total of 240 products. The company last month recalled 101 products that were manufactured in the plant this year.

The Associated Press reported an FDA investigation found salmonella in environmental samples taken from various surfaces in the plant. The agency, however, did not release any other details about conditions at the plant.

Other major peanut butter brands such as Jif, Skippy and Peter Pan are not included in the recall. An outbreak of salmonella in peanut butter in 2008 and 2009 linked to one company and thousands of products sickened 714 people in 46 states.

Consumers with recalled Harry & David product should dispose of it or return it to any Harry & David retail store for a full refund. Consumers with questions about the recalled products may phone the Harry & David Customer Service division at 800-233-1101, between 5 a.m. and 10 p.m. seven days a week.

Reach reporter Greg Stiles at 541-776-4463 or e-mail business@mailtribune.com.

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