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FDA stops peanut butter plant operations linked to salmonella outbreak

The FDA has stopped operations at Sunland, Inc., the United States' largest organic peanut butter processor, after a salmonella outbreak.

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Trader Joe's has removed their Valencia Creamy Salted Peanut Butter from store shelves after the product was linked with an outbreak of Salmonella. (MICHAEL NAGLE/AFP/Getty Images)

The FDA has stopped operations at Sunland, Inc., the United States' largest organic peanut butter processor, after a salmonella outbreak.

The suspension of operations marked the FDA's first crack down on salmonella poisoning since the agency gained new enforcement authority in a 2011 food safety law, reported the Associated Press. The bacteria was found all over Sunland's New Mexico processing plant after 41 people in 20 states, mostly children, were left sick earlier t his year by peanut butter manufactured at the plant and sold at Trader Joe's grocery store chain. The FDA suspended Sunland's registration Monday, preventing the company from producing or distributing any food.

More from GlobalPost: Peanut butter recall expands after salmonella outbreak at Trader Joe's

"The fact that peanut butter made by the company has been linked to an outbreak of salmonella bredeney that has sickened 41 people in 20 states, coupled with Sunland's history of violations led FDA to make the decision to suspend the company's registration," the FDA wrote in a statement, noted NBC News

According to CBS News, hundreds of products that contained peanuts and nut butters made by the Sunland plant were eventually recalled. In addition to the salmonella, the FDA found evidence of improper handling of products and other potentially unsafe practices during its investigation at the plant.

More from GlobalPost: Suspected salmonella in Trader Joe's peanut butter

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/health/121126/fda-stops-peanut-butter-plant-operations-linked-salmonella-outbreak