A federal court in New Mexico has approved a consent decree of permanent injunction between the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Sunland, Inc., which owns a facility where peanut butter products purportedly tainted with Salmonella were produced. United States v. Sunland, Inc., No. 12-1312 (D.N.M., filed December 21, 2012). The outbreak affected “at least 35 people from 19 states,” eight of whom “were hospitalized as a result of their infection.” While the company neither admits nor denies FDA’s allegations, it agreed to take a number of actions to correct food-handling practices “that likely resulted in cross-contamination between raw peanuts and peanuts that had been roasted or brined.”

The company must “develop and implement sanitation control programs;
provide FDA the opportunity to inspect the facilities to assure Sunland’s
compliance with the consent decree, the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, and
applicable regulations; and receive written authorization from FDA to resume
operations. Sunland must also implement testing, monitoring and remediation
protocols.” The company will be unable to sell processed foods until it
complies with the agreement. See U.S. Department of Justice Press Release,
December 21, 2012.

About The Author

For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.

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