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California schools told to destroy peanut butter possibly tied to salmonella

October 13, 2012 | 11:00 pm

California schools have been asked to destroy all peanut butter that is being recalled by its manufacturer, Sunland Inc., over concerns that it may contain Salmonella contamination.

But Los Angeles Unified is not one of the 320 California school districts that state education officials say were sent 2,072 cases of the Sunland peanut butter involved in the recall. David Binkle, L.A. Unified’s interim director of food services, said Saturday that the district no longer serves peanut butter at all -- largely to avoid student allergies to the food but also to promote “natural minimal processed food without added fats and sugars.”

The California Department of Education said Friday that there were no reported cases of California students sickened by the peanut butter.

Six California food banks were also reported to have received 23,040 cases of the affected peanut butter.

Some 240 products are now subject to the recall. They include peanut and almond butters from Trader Joe’s and nut butters sold at Target, Fresh & Easy, Costco and other stores. Skippy, Jif and other leading brands of peanut butter are not made by Sunland

In addition to peanut butter, Sunland announced Friday that the firm was extending its voluntary recall to include raw and roasted shelled and in-shell peanuts processed in its processing plant in New Mexico.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and other health officials have been investigating a multi-state outbreak of Salmonella Bredeney infections linked to peanut butter made by Sunland since late September. As of Oct. 5, 35 people in 19 states had reported getting ill with Salmonella after eating the peanut butter.

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--Teresa Watanabe

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