Multiple nut butters manufacturer by Oskri Corp. have tested positive for potentially deadly Listeria bacteria, causing the company to expand a recall posted earlier this month. In recent years the FDA warned Oskri about unsanitary conditions and other violations at its facility.
The expanded recall covers all nut butters produced by Oskri — including butters made from seeds — according to a notice posted on the Food and Drug Administration’s website. The recall applies to products with best by dates of June 2020 and earlier. The Wisconsin company began manufacturing the recalled products in January 2018.
“If you are in possession of any of these products, we urge you to quarantine and destroy the product immediately,” the company warns in its recall notice. Please see complete list of recalled products and lot numbers below.
The recalled products were still available for sale on the Oskri website as of last night. Also, Oskri’s website did not appear to have any of the recall information.
No illnesses have been confirmed in relation to the recalled products, but it can take up to 70 days after exposure for symptoms of Listeria infection to develop.
Oskri Corp. reports distributing the recalled nut and seed butters to 17 states, but its recall notice does not indicate if there was wider secondary distribution. The company has not published what retailers or other businesses received the recalled products. Oskri distrubuted the nut and seed butters to New York, Michigan, California, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, Illinois, Florida, Maine, Texas, Arizona, Indiana, Idaho, Oregon, South Carolina and Rhode Island.
The recalled nut and seed butters are sold in 16-ounce plastic jars with the lot number either on the top or bottom of the jar near the expiration date and in pouches with the lot number and expiration date on either the top or bottom of the back of the pouch.
On bulk packaging, which would be Oskri Corp. boxes, the label should be located on the box in the upper right-hand corner of one of the four sides. This label will list the lot number, production date, and expiration date.
Earlier this month, Oskri recalled tahini butter and sunflower butter, saying a “customer” randomly tested one of the products and found Listeria monocytogenes. Oskri did not indicate whether the customer was a consumer or a business entity.
The “customer” notified operators of the Lake Mills, WI, food company on Dec. 18 about the positive test results for Listeria, according to the Oskri recall notice posted Jan. 2 by the Food and Drug Administation. That recall included Thrive brand sunflower butter. On Jan. 28 Thrive expanded its portion of the recall to include all unexpired lots of its branded nut and seed butters.
“An investigation is still ongoing to find the source of the Listeria monocytogenes. We have ceased the production and distribution of the product as FDA and Oskri continue their investigation as to what caused the problem,” Oskri’s Jan. 2 recall notice stated.
FDA sent warning letter in 2014
Oskri self identifies as a “natural food company” that produces a wide range of products including nut butters and dried fruit, snack bars, preserves, and granolas.
In January 2014 the FDA took enforcement action against the company, issuing a warning letter in relation to multiple problems discovered during several inspections in 2013. The agency cited Oskri for 13 violations including improper sanitation, cross-contamination, food-safety procedures and misbranding.
Among the specific violations were:
- Failure to maintain equipment and utensils in an acceptable condition through appropriate cleaning and sanitizing;
- Failure to take effective measures to protect against the inclusion of metal or other extraneous material in food despite having received multiple consumer complaints about metal shavings and glass;
- Failure to provide allergen declarations on labels as required by federal law;
- Failure to include required nutrition information on labels; and
- Making nutrition claims that have not been approved by the FDA.
In December 2014 the FDA issued a closeout letter, indicating the problems discovered in 2013 had been corrected.
Products subject to current recall and their lot numbers:
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