Saturday, 28 February 2009

Uneviscerated fish recalled

The US FDA has issued a food alert press release S&M (USA) Enterprise Corp at 4703 2nd Ave Brooklyn NY 11232 (Mailing address: 136 Bowery, #417 New York, NY 10013) is recalling White Herring because the product was found to be uneviscerated.

The press release states that:

"The recalled White Herring was distributed in New York State in uncoded, 16 oz. clear plastic bags. The White Herring is a product of China.

The White Herring was sampled by a New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets Food Inspector during a routine inspection. Subsequent analysis of the product by New York State Food Laboratory personnel confirmed that the White Herring was not properly eviscerated prior to processing.

The sale of uneviscerated fish is prohibited under New York State Agriculture and Markets regulations because Clostridium botulinum spores are more likely to be concentrated in the viscera than any other portion of the fish. Uneviscerated fish have been linked to outbreaks of botulism poisoning.

This product may be contaminated with Clostridium botulinum spores, which can cause Botulism, a serious and potentially fatal food–borne illness. Symptoms of botulism include blurred or double vision, general weakness, poor reflexes, difficulty in swallowing and respiratory paralysis.

No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this problem. Consumers that have purchased White Herring are advised not to eat it and should return it to the place of purchase."

Dried yellow potato recalled due to undeclared sulfites

The US FDA has issued an allergy alert to confirm that Goya Foods, Inc. of Secaucus, NJ, is recalling its 12 ounce packages of Dried Yellow Potato (Papa Seca Amarilla), UPC 041331050562, because it contains undeclared sulfites. Consumers who have sensitivity to sulfites run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reactions if they consume this product.

The product is packaged in 12 ounce plastic bags, all production lot codes are affected and the product has been distributed nationwide. It is a product of Peru.

The recall was initiated after routine sampling by New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets Food Inspectors and subsequent analysis of the product by Food Laboratory personnel revealed the presence of sulfites in Goya brand Dried Yellow Potato (Papa Seca Amarilla) which were not declared on the label. The consumption of 10 milligrams of sulfites per serving has been reported to elicit severe reactions in some asthmatics. Anaphylactic shock could occur in certain sulfite sensitive individuals upon ingesting 10 milligrams or more of sulfites.

No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this problem.For more details click on the link.

Dawnfresh Seafoods Ltd recalls a batch of its frozen Kintyre breaded scampi due to glass contamination

The UK FSA has issued a food alert to confirm that Dawnfresh Seafoods Ltd has recalled a batch of its Frozen Kintyre Breaded Scampi 235g. This is due to pieces of glass being found in a small number of the packets.

Dawnfresh Seafoods Ltd has recalled the affected batch from sale. The product recalled is:
Frozen Kintyre Breaded Scampi, 235g packets
Best before end: July 2010
Batch codes: L9006M2

No other Dawnfresh Seafoods Ltd products are known to be affected. For more details follow the link.

Stobarts (Bradford) Ltd withdraws a batch of Ready to Eat Sausage Rolls due to incorrect allergen labelling information

The UK FSA has issued an allergy alert to confirm that a batch of Stobarts (Bradford) Ltd Sausage Rolls contains sulphur dioxide, used as a preservative for the sausage rolls, which is inadequately declared on the label. This makes the product a potential health risk for people who are sensitive to sulphites.

Product identificationProduct: Sausage Rolls
Brand: Stobarts (Bradford) Ltd
Best before date: All dates up to and including 7 March 2009

No other Stobarts (Bradford) Ltd products are known to be affected. Click on the link for more details.

Heston Blumenthal's restaurant shut over food poisoning scare

The Guardian reports that Heston Blumenthal has temporarily closed his "Fat Duck" restaurant after around 40 people have stated that they have been unwell after eating at the restaurant. To date a potential source of food poisoning or food borne illness has not been identified at the restaurant. Follow the link to read the full article.

Peanut butter recall shows no sign of ending

There have been a continuing flurry of peanut butter recalls - twenty in the last few days. There are also new cases of illness being identified by the authorities - the scope of this incident is quite incredible. The number of recalled products has now reached 2,600. One of the concerns is that the shelf-life of some of the peanut-butter related products is very long so the products may remain in circulation for some time.

The latest released case count is 666 cases with possibly nine related deaths - a sobering statistic indeed.

Sainsbury's recalles breaded ham due to undeclared allergen

The UK Food Standards Agency has issued an allergy alert to confirm that Sainsbury's has withdrawn one date code of Sainsbury's Taste the Difference British Yorkshire Breaded Ham. This is due to a labelling error resulting in the presence of undeclared egg and gluten (wheat). A number of packs of Sainsbury's Taste the Difference British Yorkshire Breaded Ham contain egg and gluten (wheat). The presence of egg and gluten (wheat) is not declared on the packaging and therefore may be a potential risk to health for people allergic to egg and/or gluten (wheat). Check out the link for product details.

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Fish products recalled due to concerns over botulism

The US FDA has issued a press release to confirm that San Link Inc has recalled vacuum-packaged Dried Chechon because the fish product was found to be uneviscerated. The recalled vacuum packaged Dried Chechon was distributed in New York State in random weight plastic bags (0.66lb average), coded - 21.12.2008. The vacuum packaged Dried Chechon is a product of Russia. The press release states:

"The vacuum packaged Dried Chechon was sampled by a New York State Department of Agriculture and Market Food Inspector during a routine inspection. Subsequent analysis of the product by New York State Food Laboratory personnel confirmed the vacuum packaged Dried Chechon was not properly eviscerated prior to processing.

The sale of uneviscerated fish is prohibited under New York State Agriculture and Market regulations because Clostridium botulinum spores are more likely to be concentrated in the viscera than any other portion of the fish. Uneviscerated fish have been linked to outbreaks of botulism poisoning". Follow the link for more details.

Salad recalled due to concerns over Listeria

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is warning the public not to consume certain products containing chicken or chunky ham salad manufactured by Plaisirs Gastronomiques Inc. because they may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

Affected by this alert is St-Hubert Chicken Salad Spread, sold in 375 g containers bearing UPC 6 23798 08100 8 and lot code 047091 (Best Before February 27th) or 048091 (Best Before February 28th). This product has been distributed to major grocery retailers in Quebec.

Also affected by this alert are certain chicken salad, chunky ham salad and their products prepared and/or packaged at some of the following chain stores, as well as at other independent retailers and delicatessens in Quebec. Follow the link for full details.

CFIA , Salmonella and Basil

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Farmer John’s Herbs are warning the public not to consume Farmer John’s Herbs brand Organic Basil Leaf because the product may be contaminated with Salmonella.

All lots of Farmer John’s Herbs brand Organic Basil Leaf, sold in 6 gram packages, bearing UPC 7 73353 50002 1 are affected by this recall.

This product was distributed in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island. There has been no reported illness associated with the consumption of this product.

Seeds and Salmonella

I have blogged before about seeds and the risks associated with Salmonella contamination (six recalls in 2008 - check out seeds in the list at the right hand side of the main page). The Independent carries a report on this problem stating that:

"Tesco, Waitrose and well-known health food shops have withdrawn tens of thousands of packets of edible seeds in one of the biggest product recalls for a decade after a survey found "unacceptable" levels of salmonella and E. coli.

One in 50 packs of ready-to-eat seeds such as sesame and sunflower was found to be contaminated with dangerous levels of the food-borne diseases, which can cause serious illness in fit people and death in the vulnerable".

The article details how 317 local authorities collected 3,735 packets of ready-to-eat seeds from 3,390 supermarkets, health food shops, convenience stores and market stalls between October 2007 and March 2008. They were analysed in 32 food laboratories.Of these samples, 23 (0.6%) were contaminated with salmonella. E. coli was detected at unsatisfactory levels in 55 samples (1.5%). Melon seeds had the highest proportion of salmonella (8.5%) but the bug was also found in sesame, linseed, sunflower, alfalfa and mixed seeds. E. coli was found in melon, pumpkin, sesame, hemp, poppy, linseed, sunflower and mixed seeds. Follow the link to read the article in full.


Vegetarian World recalls soups over undeclared allergens

The UK FSA reports that Vegetarian World has recalled certain date codes of Hebrew National Continental Barley Soup, Hebrew National Continental Lentil Soup and Hebrew National Beans in Tomato due to incorrect allergen labelling. The products are:

Hebrew National Continental Barley Soup (undeclared celery)
Best before: all dates up to and including Aug 2010
400g can
Hebrew National Continental Lentil Soup (undeclared soya and celery)
Best before: all dates up to and including 2010
400g can
Hebrew National Beans in Tomato (undeclared mustard and celery)
Best Before: all dates up to and including Dec 2010
400g can
No other Hebrew branded products are known to be affected.

Certain date codes of the above products may contain celery, soya and mustard, which are not declared on the label. This makes the products a potential health risk for people who are allergic to these allergens.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is warning the public not to consume certain types of wieners described below made by Maple Leaf. Maple Leaf had a large scale recall in August 2008 as a result of Listeria.

The following products described below are affected by this CFIA alert. The affected products bear the establishment number 611. This is a different establishment number to the previous recall.

Product Size UPC Best Before Date
Maple Leaf Hot Dogs Original 450g 0 63100 22356 4 09 AL 23
Shopsy’s Deli- Fresh All Beef Frankfurters 450g 0 64875 20730 8 09 AL 22 and 09 AL 23

The affected products have been distributed in Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland & Labrador.There have been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of these products.

Norwegian mussels scare

The Independent reports that a warning about the dangers of eating raw or lightly cooked seafood has been issued after cholera bugs were found in Norwegian mussels. The Vibrio cholerae bacteria did not include dangerous strains of the sort that cause deadly epidemics. However, the bacteria present produced toxins that could lead to diarrhoea. Vibrio bacteria were also found in Norwegian inshore seawater, posing a greater risk of illness through swimming or handling fish. The report further states that all the bugs were capable of producing serious wound infections, especially in people with weak immune systems. The bacteria, V cholerae, V parahaemolyticus, and V vulnificus were previously unknown in Norway. Follow the link to read the full article.

Curry sauce recalled due to undeclared allergen

Ausfoodnews reports that A. Clouet Pty Ltd is conducting a voluntary recall of the below product because the product contains shrimp paste which is not clearly identified on the label.

Any consumers who have purchased this product, and who have a shell fish or crustacean allergy or intolerance, should not consume it but should return it to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers without an allergy or intolerance to shell fish or crustaceans can safely consume these products.

Food Product: Curry Sauce

Name of Product: Ayam Thai Massaman Curry, Cooking Sauce

Package Description & Size: Can, 400ml

Use By Date: 26/12/2010

Australian Distribution: National

Reason for Recall: Labelling - undeclared allergen (shrimp paste)

Monday, 23 February 2009

Sultanas recalled due to undeclared allergen

The UK FSA has issued an allergy alert to confirm that TRS Wholesale Co Ltd has withdrawn a batch of Golden Sultana Raisins due to incorrect allergen labelling information. the batch has the following codes:

Best before end: February 2009
Batch code: L8046

One batch of the above product contains sulphur dioxide, used as a preservative for the sultanas, which is not declared on the label. This makes the product a potential health risk for people who are sensitive to sulphites.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Tuna recalled for undeclared allergen

The US FDA has issued a press release to confirm that Tri-Union Seafoods LLC is issuing a precautionary recall of the 5-ounce variety of Genova solid light tuna in olive oil.

Due to a production error, the product is mislabeled and contains albacore tuna in soybean oil with vegetable broth that contains soy. People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to soybean run the risk of serious allergic reaction if they consume these products. There have been no reported illnesses, and Tri-Union Seafoods is issuing the precautionary recall to protect public health. Follow the link for full details.

Listeria and ham salad products

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is warning the public not to consume certain products containing ham salad manufactured by Plaisirs Gastronomiques Inc. because they may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

This is a widespread recall and the items affected by this alert are various ham salad and ham salad products, including ham salad sandwiches, manufactured at some of the following chain stores and other independent retailers and deli stores in the province of Quebec:

Loblaws - Quebec
Provigo - Quebec
Metro - Quebec
IGA - Quebec
Bonichoix - Quebec
Boni-soir - Quebec

Voisin - Quebec
Marché Richelieu - Quebec
L'intermarché - Quebec
IGA Extra - Quebec
Omni - Quebec

Axep - Quebec
Ultramar - Quebec
Tradition - Quebec
Le dépanneur - Quebec

Consumers who have purchased various ham salad and ham salad products including sandwiches manufactured at some chain stores and other independent retailers and deli stores in Quebec between February 11 and February 20 inclusive are advised to check at the place of purchase to determine if they have the recalled products. Consumers who would still have these products in their refrigerators, are advised not to consume them.

There have been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of these products.

Food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes may not look or smell spoiled. Consumption of food contaminated with this bacteria may cause listeriosis, a foodborne illness. Listeriosis can cause high fever, severe headache, neck stiffness and nausea. Pregnant women, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems are particularly at risk. Infected pregnant women may experience only a mild, flu-like illness, however, infections during pregnancy can lead to premature delivery, infection of the newborn, or even stillbirth.

The manufacturer, Plaisirs Gastronomiques Inc, Boisbriand, Quebec, has instructed all retailers who have used the ham salad to make ham sandwiches and other ham salad products to voluntarily remove any affected products from the marketplace. The CFIA is monitoring the effectiveness of the recall.

Source: CFIA

Biscuits recalled due to undeclared allergens

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is warning people with allergies to egg, milk, peanut, seafood, sesame, soy, and tree nuts not to consume various Orion and Lotte brand Biscuits described below. These products contain allergens which are not declared on the label.

All codes of the following Orion and Lotte brand Biscuits, products of Korea, are affected by this alert. Product information below can be found on the package and on a sticker applied for the Canadian market. On some products, the brand name Orion or Lotte appears only in Korean language.

Product name on package Size UPC Undeclared allergens
Biscuit 36 g 8 801117 238308 Milk
Biscuit 190 g 8 801117 744007 Milk, seafood, soy
Biscuit 98 g 8 801117 743604 Seafood
Biscuit 205 g 8 801117 743703 Seafood
Biscuit - Chocolate Chip Cookies 120 g 8 801117 204600 Egg, milk, tree nuts
Biscuit 50 g 8 801117 226800 Milk, tree nuts
Orion Biscuit - Diget Wheat Meal Natural Biscuits 140 g 8 801117 228804 Milk
Orion Biscuit - Diget Choco Wheat Meal Natural Biscuits 158 g 8 801117 245306 Milk
Biscuit 30 g 8 801117 749903 Milk, seafood, soy
Biscuit 30 g 8 801117 750008 Milk, seafood, soy
Orion Biscuit - Chocochip Cookies 255 g 8 801117 244903 Egg, milk
Biscuit - Sun Multi Grain Chip - Original 38 g 8 801117 749002 Egg, milk, soy
Biscuit - Na Cheese Sand 77 g 8 801117 238209 Egg, milk, soy
Biscuit - Hot Natural Ridges 125 g 8 801117 745707 Milk, soy
Biscuit - Miz Black Chocolate Cookies 38 g 8 801117 210809 Milk, soy
Biscuit 72 g 8 801117 292508 Egg, milk, soy, peanut
Biscuit 216 g 8 801117 292706 Egg, milk, soy, peanut
Biscuit - Choco Crunchy Cereal Bar 73 g 8 801117 403102 Milk
Biscuit - Bebe Biscuit 100 g 8 801117 244705 Egg, milk, tree nuts
Orion Biscuit - Ye! Gam Potato 58 g 8 801117 217402 Milk, seafood, soy
Orion Biscuit - Diget Sandwich - Vanilla Cream 94 g 8 801117 226701 Milk, soy, tree nuts
Orion Biscuit - Mini Pole 36 g 8 801117 424008 Milk
Biscuit 336 g 8 801117 248307 Egg, milk, peanut, sesame seeds, tree nuts
Biscuit 125 g 8 801117 743307 Milk, soy, seafood
Lotte - Biscuit 80 g 8 801062 144075 Egg, milk, soy

These products are known to have been distributed in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, and Saskatchewan, but may have been distributed nationally.

There has been one reported allergic reaction associated with the consumption of these products.

Consumption of these products may cause a serious or life-threatening reaction in persons with allergies to egg, milk, peanut, seafood, sesame, soy, and tree nuts.

Flour recalled due to potential allergen contamination

The US FDA has issued a product recall press release to confirm that Arrowhead Mills, Inc. has announced that it is taking the precautionary measure of recalling Arrowhead Mills® Organic Stone Ground Whole Wheat Flour (2 lbs.) with a lot code of 06OCT09. This is because of the possibility of the presence of an undeclared dairy allergen in a limited number of bags within this lot. The lot code is located on the right side of the upper front panel of the individual bag of flour. No other lot codes of this product or any other Arrowhead Mills products are affected in any way and there have been no reported illnesses.

Consumers who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to milk protein run the potential risk of a health problem or illness if they consume this product.

Crackers recalled due to undeclared allergens

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is warning people with allergies to egg, milk and peanut protein not to consume Korean Crackers described below. These crackers contain egg, milk and peanut ingredients that are not declared on the label.

The following products are affected by this alert.

Product Name Brand Size Codes and Description (Wang Globalnet label)
Korean Cracker Haitai 46 g Item 02549, 2009/09/08, UPC 8801019 306495
Korean Cracker
Homerun Ball
Haitai 146 g Item 07899, 2009/08/29, UPC 8801019 306549

These products have been distributed in Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick.

There was one reported reaction associated with these products.

Consumption of these products may cause a serious or life-threatening reaction in persons with allergies to egg, milk or peanut protein.

PCA related recalls continue

There have been thirteen further FDA recalls since my last post on PCA, Salmonella and Peanut Butter - the impact continues!

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Cake mix recalled due to peanut contamination

AusFood News reports that Naturally Good Products Pty Ltd are conducting a voluntary consumer level recall because the product Naturally Good, Deliciously Free - Moist Chocolate Mudcake mix contains traces of peanuts that are not declared on the packaging. Consumers who are allergic to peanuts should not consume this product. Consumers who are not allergic to peanuts can safely consume this product.

This recall only applies to products with the nominated size and best before dates (see link). No other Naturally Good products are affected by this product recall. Apart from this issue there is no other fault with this product.

Friday, 20 February 2009

Peanut recall goes on

There have been thirty or so further product recalls since I last blogged about the peanut butter and Salmonella outbreak on Monday. Follow the link on thje widget to the FDA site to find out more.

Iceland recall sausage rolls

The UK FSA is reporting that Iceland Foods Ltd has recalled one date code of Iceland Cocktail Sausage Rolls because of a packaging error resulting in incorrect allergen labelling information

Allergens: Celery, gluten (wheat), milk, mustard and sulphites

* Iceland Cocktail Sausage Rolls x 50
* Date code: 03 FEB 2010

Some packs of the above product may contain Cheese & Onion Rolls instead of Cocktail Sausage Rolls. Therefore the product may contain celery, gluten (wheat), milk, mustard and sulphites, which are not declared on the label. This makes the product a potential health risk for people who are allergic or intolerant to these allergens.

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Salmonella recall in UK

The UK FSA has issued an alert to confirm that Bounce Snack Foods (UK) Ltd has recalled certain date codes of their Premium Protein Balls, due to the possible presence of Salmonella Typhimurium.

The Agency has been informed that, on a precautionary basis, Bounce Snack Foods (UK) Ltd has recalled the affected products as they may contain peanut products manufactured by Peanut Corporation of America. The affected products have been recalled from sale in shops in the UK and point-of-sale notices have been displayed in outlets supplied. Consumers can visit the Bounce Snack Foods website at the link below for more information on the recall. The product recall notice is also available at the link below.

Meal recalled due to undeclared milk allergen

The US FDA has issued a product recall press release to confirm that Osem USA, Inc. is initiating a voluntary recall of 1.94 oz Osem Creamy Pasta Chicken Flavor – Meals-on-the-Go with any production code. This product is being recalled because the package may actually contain traces of milk not declared on the label.

The recall of this product is of concern only to those individuals who have allergies to milk. Consumption may cause a serious or life-threatening reaction in persons with allergies to milk. Concerned customers should return the product to the store they bought for a full refund. Customers who have consumed the product and feel they are experiencing symptoms should contact their physician.

The recall was initiated after it was discovered that the product contains trace amounts of milk proteins, which were added unintentionally and are not listed in the ingredient statement.

Osem in Israel has received one report of adverse reaction to this product from a person with known milk allergy. For more details follow the link.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Salmon may be contaminated with Listeria

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Kanata Smoke House are warning the public not to consume the Kanata Smoke House brand Smoked Atlantic Salmon described below because the product may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

The affected product, Kanata Smoke House brand Smoked Atlantic Salmon, was sold in 500g packages, bearing UPC 8 19269 00350 5 and Product code 3001 Best Before 2009 FE 27.

The affected packages were sold from Costco stores in Quebec.

There have been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of this product.

Egg salad may be contaminated with Listeria

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is warning the public not to consume certain products containing egg salad manufactured by Plaisirs Gastronomique Inc. because they may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

The following products are affected:

Product Size UPC
Ziggy’s brand egg salad on whole wheat bread 160 g 0 60383 97957 7
Ziggy’s brand egg salad on white bread 160 g 0 60383 97956 0

These Ziggy’s brand products bear a Best Before date up to and including February 17 and are distributed in Ontario and Quebec.

Monday, 16 February 2009

Recalls start to fall

It is three days since I last posted on the Salmonella and peanut butter recall and the number of product recalls is slowly starting to reduce. There have been seventeen press releases over the last three days. Six cases in Colorado have now been linked to the PCA Texas plant.

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Ground beef recalled due to potential contamination with glass

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Real Canadian Superstore are warning the public not to consume the ground beef described below because it may contain pieces of glass.

The health hazard alert states that "The fresh Lean Ground Beef Club Pack affected by this alert was sold in store packed 2.5 kg trays bearing Best Before date Feb 12, 09 and UPC 283460 913732 from Real Canadian Superstore, 2280 Baron Road, Kelowna, BC. The label, however, bears the name of Westfair Foods, Calgary, Alberta.

There have been no reported injuries associated with the consumption of this product".

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Rakusen’s Ltd recalls Chocolate Chip Cookies making 'dairy free' claim due to the presence of undeclared milk

The UK FSA has issued an allergy alert to confirm that Rakusen’s Ltd has recalled a batch of Chocolate Chip Cookies that are making 'dairy free' claim due to the presence of undeclared milk. The code details are as follows:

* Chocolate Chip Cookies, 200g
* Best before: end December 2009
* Batch code: 8345

One batch code of the above product has been found to contain milk protein, which is not an intended ingredient. This makes the product a potential health risk for people who are allergic to or intolerant of milk or milk constituents. The contamination is accidental due to cross contamination and is present at a very low level (2 parts per million). For more details follw the link.

Friday, 13 February 2009

Sanlu declared bankrupt

BBC News reports that the Chinese food group that was at the centre of the global contaminated milk scandal has been declared bankrupt with debts of $160m (£113m). Six babies died in China and over 300,000 children were made ill by the milk products. As I wrote back in December, melamine had been added to boost protein readings.

The BBC News report states that "The chairwoman of the Sanlu Group, Tian Wenhua, has already been sentenced to life imprisonment. Other Sanlu executives received sentences of five to 15 years. Two other men were sentenced to death".

Follow the links for more details

PCA files for bankruptcy protection

There have been thirteen further recalls added to the FDA list since my last post and further developments for PCA as an organisation. Reuters report that Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) has today sought bankruptcy protection after the salmonella outbreak traced to one of its plants "led to one of the biggest product recalls in U.S. history".

The report states that "The company filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Virginia, saying the negative economic effects of the recalls have been "extremely devastating" to its financial condition".

All peanut products are now being recalled from PCA's Texas Plant after after the State health department during an inspection found dead rodents, rodent excrement and bird feathers in a "crawl space above a production area". The PCA plant in Plainview, Texas had operated without a license for four years and had not been inspected until after the recent salmonella outbreak was traced to PCA's plant in Blakely, Georgia.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Peanut butter hearings

In the last couple of days a further twenty-six recall press releases have been issued by the FDA for peanut butter related products. The death of a ninth person has now been linked to the outbreak. On Wednesday, a Congressional House Committee began looking into the salmonella outbreak at the Peanut Corporation of America. It has been released in part on UTube - check it out. Sky News has also carried a report on the hearings. A second plant has now been closed in Texas after possible Salmonella contamination was found. The outbreak has seen recent products recalled in Australia as well as the UK .

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Energy bar recalled due to Salmonella

The UK Food Standards Agency has issued a food alert to confirm that Clif Bar & Company (based in Berkeley, USA) has recalled certain batch and date codes of their Clif Crunchy Peanut Butter flavour energy bar 68g and Luna Nutz Over Chocolate flavour energy bar 48g, due to the possible presence of Salmonella Typhimurium.

The Agency has been informed that, on a precautionary basis, Clif Bar & Company has recalled the affected products as they may contain peanut products manufactured by Peanut Corporation of America. The affected products have been withdrawn from sale in shops in the UK. Consumers who still have the affected product may bring it back to the retail location where they purchased the product and it will be replaced with products which are not affected by the recall. Consumers can visit the Clif Bar & Company website for more information and view images of the affected products at the links below.

For more details follow the link.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Elk meat recalled due to CWD

The FDA has issued a recall to confirm that Exotic Meats USA of San Antonio, TX is initiating a voluntary recall of Elk Tenderloin because it may contain meat derived from an elk confirmed to have Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). Follow the link for more details.

Cheese recalled due to possible listeria contamination

The FDA has issued a press release to confirm that the New York State Agriculture Commissioner Patrick Hooker has warned consumers not to consume certain “Queso Fresco, Fresh Cheese,” made by Peregrina Cheese Corp. due to possible Listeria contamination.

The product is contained in a foil wrapped, 14 oz. net weight package with a code of 4461. The consumer warning affects all packages with this code.

A routine sample of the cheese, taken by an inspector from the Department’s Division of Milk Control and Dairy Services on January 26, 2009, was subsequently tested by the New York State Food Laboratory and discovered to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. On February 3, 2009, the manufacturer was notified of the presence of Listeria monocytogenes and the company voluntarily recalled the product.

Follow the link for more details.

Recalls continue

There have been twelve further FDA press releases in the last two days for peanut butter recalls - check out the FDA widget for more information.

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Salmonella still in the news

The number of peanut recalls yesterday, Saturday, fell to eleven products. The CFIA continue to update their outbreak list daily. The Associated Press have run a video on UTube on whether the plant knowingly sent out product contaminated with Salmonella - check it out.

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Food safety versus quality

Eat Safe! Check the peanut Recall List. www.fda.gov or 1-800-CDC-INFO

There have been in the last twenty-four hours there have again been around 30 product recall press releases in connection with the peanut butter recall. This is unpresecendented! The number of cases linked to the outbreak is now 575 in 43 states.

Can we rely on third party audits to deliver food safety? This is a debate that we are currently having in the UK. How does the level of hygiene and the practices undertaken on the one day of the year when the audit takes place reflect what happens on the other 364?

How much does the paperwork driven by HACCP reflect the practices actually in place? How do we integrate the management of quality with the management of food safety?

Food safety is not negotiable - food is either safe or unsafe - black and white.

Quality is negotiable - under constraints, but is grey - if the only apples available have ten per cent more red colour on them than the specification they can still be supplied if the customer approved the temporary specification.

If food is found to be contaminated with Ecoli or Salmonella - is the situation then negotiable? The answer has to be No.

Chocolate recalled for undeclared milk

The FSA has announced that Sweet Luxuries Ltd has withdrawn a batch of Sugar Lessss Belgian Plain Chocolate due to the presence of undeclared milk. The Best Before date is: Best Before: 02/2009 with a Batch Code: L0022. Follow the link for more details.

Friday, 6 February 2009

Global communication for global recalls

Eat Safe! Check the peanut Recall List. www.fda.gov or 1-800-CDC-INFO

There have been sixteen further FDA recalls and again a further press release from the CFIA overnight for the peanut butter recall. This brings the total numbers of recalled product to nearly 1000! I wrote a couple of days ago on the use of new types of communication media in the recall and I was also interested to read an article in Ausfoodnews on communication with consumers in the event of a product recall using retail loyalty cards. They report that:

"The nonprofit consumer group Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) is urging retailers that collect this kind of information to use it to notify consumers when they purchased items subject to a food safety recall".

Further that Costco, Wegmans Food Markets and Price Chopper have all used their databases to notify consumers who have purchased recalled peanut butter items. "In fact, Costco made over 1.5 million automated phone calls and mailed even more letters to customers in the current recall alone".

I feel one of the positives that will come out of this awful incident, and there have to be positives, is that we will identify better ways to inform the consumer about product recalls instead of the notice on the foodstore door. If we have global food supply chains then we have to have global methods of communication in the event of a problem. By global, I mean supply chains in the thousands and millions of consumers rather than the tens and hundreds where word of mouth is sufficient.

In an Associated Press article yesterday it was reported that there were issues with "loopholes" in the US food safety system. The Senate Agriculture Committee have been reviewing the peanut butter recall.

Food Inspections whether in-house or by federal agencies are quality control. Quality control does not work in delivering safe food! Food safety assurance systems are the only way to control food safety, we have learned that lesson and continue to learn that lesson in the UK. There have been calls in the US to increase the amount of irradiation used in treating foods. As a method of quality control this has merit but as I wrote back in August which is better prevention or cure?

I repeat, and this is statement is not meant to reflect on the current recall but food safety generally, Would I want to eat food that was safe but had been irradiated because there was:
  • No food safety risk assessment;
  • No irrigation water standards;
  • No personal hygiene programme;
  • No pest control programme (rats, mice etc);
  • No premises and equipment hygiene standards;
  • No intake inspection and supplier approval process;
  • No packaging control procedures;
  • No training procedures?
I think I have pressed the point enough.

Eat Safe! Check the peanut Recall List. www.fda.gov or 1-800-CDC-INFO

Thursday, 5 February 2009

New rules for "gluten-free" foods

Eating Britain has written an article on the new EU rules on gluten labelling.

"Under the new EU regulations, only foods that contain less than 20 parts of gluten in a million will be allowed to use the term ‘gluten-free’ on their packaging. Recent evidence has shown that this extremely low level offers better protection for those with an intolerance to gluten. Previously, a food labelled ‘gluten-free’ could have contained up to ten times more than this.

In addition, some foods made using cereals that have been specially processed to remove most of the gluten, but which contain less than 100 parts in a million, will be able to make the claim ‘very low gluten’. These include substitutes of certain staple foods such as bread.

The introduction of just two types of labelling will reduce consumer confusion in this area and help coeliacs to make safe and informed choices about the types of food they eat.

Sue Hattersley, head of food allergy policy at the Food Standards Agency, said:

“Around one per cent of people in the UK are intolerant to gluten, and packaging claims about gluten in foods are very important to these people.
The number of products marketed to them is increasing rapidly. Without rules controlling the levels of gluten in them, the amounts of gluten could vary greatly, which could cause serious health problems.

“The new lower limit of 20 parts in a million means greater peace of mind for people with a gluten intolerance , as they can be sure that foods sold as ‘gluten free’ do not contain levels that could be harmful to them.”

Manufacturers can use the new labelling system immediately, but in order to give them time to adapt to the new rules by reformulating products or changing existing packaging, products do not have to comply with the new rules until 1 January 2012".

Posted at Eating Britain - check it out

Crumpets recalled due to undeclared allergen

The UK Food Standards Agency has issued an allergy alert about crumpets that have been produced by British Bakeries and packed for a number of different retailers and brands. they have been found to contain traces of milk protein which is not declared on the product labels

Products

* ASDA ‘Smartprice’ 6 Crumpets
* ASDA 8 Crumpets
* ASDA 12 Crumpets
* Sainsbury’s Basics 6 Crumpets
* Morrisons 6 Crumpets
* Morrisons 12 Crumpets
* Mothers Pride 8 Crumpets

Only those products with a code of ‘X73’ are affected. Products coded ‘X25’ are unaffected. No other Mother’s Pride, ASDA Stores Ltd, Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Ltd or Wm Morrison Supermarkets PLC products are known to be affected.

The above products contain traces of milk protein that is not declared on the product labels. This makes these products a possible health risk for people who are allergic to or intolerant of milk or milk constituents.

Dip may contain milk

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Charcuterie La Tour Eiffel, Inc. are warning people with allergies to milk not to consume Summersweet Lobster & Shrimp Dip. The affected product contains milk which is not declared on the label.

The affected product, Summersweet Lobster & Shrimp Dip, is sold in 227 g packages bearing UPC 0 67950 00103 7, lot code 751353 and a Best Before date of 09FE12 (February 12, 2009).

This product has been distributed in Quebec and New Brunswick.

There have been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of this product.

Mushrooms may contain listeria

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is warning the public not to consume the Fresh Obsessions brand Enoki Mushrooms described below because the product may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

The affected product, Fresh Obsessions brand Enoki Mushrooms, is sold in 99 g packages, bearing UPC 0 69200 00916 9. All codes are affected by this alert.

These mushrooms were distributed through Metro stores in Ontario.

Peanut butter recall continues

In the last twenty four hours the FDA has issued a further thirty two product recall press releases. This outbreak really is unpresedented - the CFIA has also issued a hazard alert for more products - a full list of products recalled in Canada can be found here.

I checked my cupboards! www.fda.gov or 1-800-CDC-INFO

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Further peanut butter associated recalls

In the last twenty four hours the FDA has issued a further twenty nine product recall press releases. This outbreak really is unpresedented - the CFIA has also issued a hazard alert for seventeen products - a full list of products recalled in Canada can be found here.

Following my post yesterday on the use of social media in this recall I was interested to read a blog post on a similar theme at the Food Poisoning Law Blog about how the FDA has reached out to bloggers

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Heinz recall sauce following mislabelling

AusFoodNews has reported that Heinz Australia is undertaking a precautionary recall of Heinz Dijon Mustard Sauce With A Hint of Orange. This is because a small batch of this product was incorrectly labelled and consequently does not declare the presence of egg and milk.

"The recall applies only to Heinz Dijon Mustard Sauce With A Hint of Orange, batch code 3248, with a best before date of 19/11/10.

Retailers should no longer sell the product listed and customers are asked to return the product to the point of purchase for immediate full refund".

It is only a week or so since a Heinz Australia recall for BBQ Sauce with Honey and Black Pepper again for a mislabelling incident.

Social media and product recalls

There have been twelve further peanut related recalls in the last twenty-four hours identified by the FDA so the list of products affected continues to grow. What I have found interesting as this recall has developed is the use of social media as a communication tool with the general public.

This has included UTube communication from the FDA with Fox News, Associated Press to Lance peanut butter crackers who issued a video to say their products were not part of the recall. The FDA has set up widgets for blogs - I have added to my site and there have also been groups set up through Facebook - about the incident.

Product recall procedures are developed as part of the due diligence requirements of food businesses. Developers and coordinators will soon have to recognise that social media is a key communication tool in the event of a product recall and determine how they can update their protocols to use the medium effectively.

Monday, 2 February 2009

Peanut recalls more

There have been five further product recalls announced in the last 24 hours connected with peanut butter and Salmonella.

Sunday, 1 February 2009

23 recalls in 24 hours

There have been a further 23 products named as being involved in the peanut butter incident in the last 24 hours. The impact of this recall continues to cascade. For product details go to the US FDA website.