FDA Shuts Down New Mexico Peanut Butter Plant to Contain Salmonella Outbreak.

As the nationwide peanut butter-linked Salmonella outbreak has now sickened 41 people in 20 different states, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has closed down Sunland Inc.’s New Mexico peanut butter plant in an attempt to contain the outbreak.

According to the FDA, Sunland will no longer be allowed to distribute any products, and the facility’s registration has been suspended.

The FDA is able to unilaterally shut down the plant, without taking Sunland to court, pursuant to its new powers under the Food Safety Modernization Act, passed in January of 2011. This is the first time the FDA has sought to exercise its registration suspension authority.

Last month, Sunland was forced to expand its peanut butter recall due to the Salmonella contamination discovered by the FDA when they inspected Sunland’s New Mexico manufacturing and distribution plant.

Only when Sunland has implemented proper safety procedures to promote safer manufacture and distribution will the FDA lift the facility’s registration suspension.

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