The USDA has recalled Smucker’s Uncrustables peanut butter and jelly sandwiches 72-count bulk packs because of potential salmonella contamination in the peanut butter.
Uncrustables are provided to schools across the nation under the National School Lunch Program, and often occupy vending machines. The circular snacks, a company spokesperson said "should not be served to students."
The peanut butter used in Smucker’s Uncrustables was produced by Sunland, Inc. and supplied by the USDA. While the peanut butter passed safety tests conducted by an Orrville, Ohio-based company that inspects USDA products, it was recalled out of an "abundance of caution."
Salmonella causes a variety of flu-like symptoms in those who become sickened by it. It is significant that this contaminated product is sold in schools because salmonella is most dangerous for children and those with compromised immune systems.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service, 48,000 people fall ill due to foodborne illnesses annually, of which 3,000 result in death.
Thankfully, Uncrustables are the only Smucker’s product that contains peanut butter produced by Sunland, Inc.
According to the AP, "When USDA learned of the FDA recall of certain products manufactured by Sunland, Inc., we coordinated with state agencies to immediately notify individual school districts and ensure that recalled products were identified and destroyed," USDA spokeswoman Alyn Kiel said in an e-mail.
The recalled Uncrustables will not be served to students and are set to expire soon. It is unknown if the National School Lunch Program will supply another processed peanut butter and jelly sandwich to replace the crustless wonder.
Though no illnesses have been linked to Uncrustables, this is not the first time Sunland peanut butter has been recalled because of salmonella contamination. Sunland products have been linked to 35 illnesses in 19 states. Over 200 products, including Trader Joe's Creamy Salted Valencia Peanut Butter, have been recalled.
Last month, Sunland decided to shut down its factory in Portales, New Mexico.