The U.S. Food and Drug Administration halted Sunland operations Monday in a move that marks the agency's first use of its suspension authority.
The suspension allows the New Mexico-based nut butter manufacturer to request a hearing and, perhaps, submit a corrective action plan toward reopening, according to the FDA statement.
"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 statement said.
The outbreak affected more than 200 products including natural brands such as Justin's, Newman's Own Organics, Earth Balance and Late July Organic Snacks, all of which instituted voluntary recalls.
Read more about the FDA's new power and the recall in Christian Science Monitor coverage of the plant closure.