Flexing its new enforcement muscle from a 2011 food safety law, the Food and Drug Administration on Monday shut down operations of the largest organic peanut butter processor in the country after discovering salmonella, the Associated Press said.
The FDA halted production at Sunland Inc.'s New Mexico plant after 41 people in 20 states were sickened by peanut butter from the plant, sold at Trader Joe's grocery stores.
The food safety law gave the FDA authority to suspend a company's registration — preventing production and distribution — when food made there has a "reasonable probability" of causing serious health problems or death.
A Sunland spokeswoman didn't have immediate comment on the suspension, according to the Associated Press. Sunland had hoped to sell peanut butter again by the end of the year, a spokeswoman said before the FDA's announcement Monday.