News in Food Safety

Indiana-bound Swai fillets recalled by Boston company for misbranding

Food Safety news - June 16, 2017 - 12:03pm

The Boston-based Channel Fish Processing Company Inc. Friday recalled  approximately 840 pounds of breaded Swai products due to misbranding and undeclared allergens, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS).

Swai is a white fish, which is native to Southeast Asia—Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia—and belongs to what’s  the Pangasius family, otherwise known as catfish.

The products may contain milk, a known allergen, which is not declared on the finished products label   The breaded Swai fillet items were produced on Feb. 22, March 20, and May 2, 2017. The following products are subject to recall:

  • 10-lb. corrugated box of “North Atlantic BRAND APPROX8OZ RAW BREADED SWAI FILLET,” with lot code 23445 and a date code of 17122.
  • 10-lb. corrugated box of “North Atlantic BRAND APPROX4OZ RAW BREADED SWAI FILLET,” with lot code 23114 and a date code of 17079.
  • 10-lb. corrugated box of “Channel Brand APPROX4OZ RAW BREADED SWAI FILLET,” with a lot code of 22888 and a date code of 17053.

These items were shipped to institutional locations in Indiana.

The mistake was discovered on June 14, 2017 when a distributor notified FSIS that bread coatings Channel Fish Processing Co. received and used in the breaded Swai products potentially contained undeclared milk.

There have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about an injury or illness should contact a healthcare provider.

Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.

FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers. When available, the retail distribution list(s) will be posted on the FSIS website.

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Categories: News in Food Safety

Channel Fish Processing Co., Inc. Recalls Siluriformes Fish Products Due to Misbranding and Undeclared Allergens

Channel Fish Processing Co., Inc, a Boston, Mass. establishment, is recalling approximately 840 pounds of breaded Swai products due to misbranding and undeclared allergens.
Categories: News in Food Safety

Party Animal Inc. sues Evanger’s because of drug in dog food

Food Safety news - June 16, 2017 - 7:00am

Party Animal Inc. has filed suit in federal court against Evanger’s Dog and Cat Food Co. Inc. because dog food Evanger’s produced for Party Animal was found to be contaminated with the animal euthanasia drug pentobarbital.

The Food and Drug Administration confirmed the presence of the drug during testing after a consumer complaint. Two varieties of Party Animal’s Cocolicious dog food tested positive for the drug, which was found earlier this year in Evanger’s branded dog food after several dogs became ill. One of those dogs died despite emergency medical care.

On April 24, Party Animal recalled 13-ounce cans of “Cocolicious Beef & Turkey” dog food, lot 0136E15204 04 with a best-by date of July 2019, and “Cocolicious Chicken & Beef” dog food, lot 0134E15 237 13 with a best-by date of August 2019, after learning about the potential contamination from a customer.

The 13-page suit, filed May 5 in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, lists eight complaints and claims damages in excess of $20 million. Also named as a defendant in the case is Evanger’s sister company, and Nutripack LLC.

The complaint outlines several counts, including:

  • Breach of written contract;
  • Breach of oral contract;
  • Breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing;
  • Fraud;
  • Negligent misrepresentation;
  • Breach of implied warranty;
  • Breach of express warranties; and
  • Implied indemnity.

In February, Evanger’s recalled certain production lots of Evanger’s brand “Hunk of Beef” and Against the Grain brand “Pulled Beef” canned dog foods after pentobarbital was found in samples of both products. Evanger’s expanded the recall in March 2017 to include all products manufactured using meat from a single supplier during a specific time period.

In its own $20 million lawsuit, filed in Cook County, IL, on April 25, Evanger’s named Bailey Farms LLC as the supplier of meat used in the recalled dog foods, accusing the meat company of breach of contract, breach of implied warranties and fraud.

Party Animal’s fraud complaint against Evanger’s is based on the manufacturer’s claim of USDA organic certification for the two recalled products.

Bailey Farms LLC is not listed as a certified organic operation in the USDA Organic Integrity Database. Therefore, meat supplied by Bailey Farms would not qualify for the USDA’s organic certification.

According to the database maintained by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Evanger’s received certified organic status for certain of its products in 2010. “Cocolicious Beef & Turkey,” and “Cocolicious Chicken & Beef” canned dog foods were added to the USDA organic database effective Aug. 14, 2015.

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Categories: News in Food Safety

Willis Ocean Inc Issues Alert on Uneviscerated Scomber Fish

CDC Food Safety news - June 16, 2017 - 6:43am
Willis Ocean Inc., Brooklyn, NY, is recalling its “the duck” brand “frozen steamed scomber fish”, because the product was found to be uneviscerated. The steamed scomber fish were distributed nationwide through retail stores.
Categories: News in Food Safety

NOW Health Group Inc. Expands Voluntary Recall of Ellyndale® Nutty Infusions™ Because of Possible Health Risk

CDC Food Safety news - June 16, 2017 - 6:15am
NOW Health Group, Inc. (NOW), of Bloomingdale, Illinois, is expanding the voluntary recall of Ellyndale® Nutty Infusions™ Roasted Cashew Butter – Product Code E0540, Lot# 2125155, and Ginger Wasabi Cashew Butter -- Product Code E0541, Lot# 2124118, to include Roasted Almond Butter – Product Code E0545, Lot# 2124119, and Mango Chili Cashew Butter – Product Code E0542, Lot# 2125156. An FDA follow-up inspection of the Nutty Infusions supplier’s facility revealed these lots have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbi...
Categories: News in Food Safety

Channel Fish Processing Co., Inc. Recalls Siluriformes Fish Products Due to Misbranding and Undeclared Allergens

CDC Food Safety news - June 16, 2017 - 5:00am
Channel Fish Processing Co., Inc, a Boston, Mass. establishment, is recalling approximately 840 pounds of breaded Swai products due to misbranding and undeclared allergens.
Categories: News in Food Safety

Organic muesli, granola recalled for Listeria risk in ingredient

Food Safety news - June 15, 2017 - 10:02pm

New England Natural Bakers is recalling its branded organic muesli and granola products sold under the Evoke Organic and Millville brands across the U.S. because of possible contamination with Listeria monocytogenes.

The Greenfield, MA, company did not name the ingredient or the supplier, only reporting that “the company has been notified by an ingredient supplier that an ingredient used in these products has the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes,” according to the recall notice posted Thursday night on the Food and Drug Administration’s website.

No illnesses had been reported in connection with the products as of the posting of the recall notice. However, it can take up to 70 days after exposure for symptoms of Listeria infection to develop.

There is concern that consumers may have unused portions of the recalled products in their homes. The best-by dates on the recalled products range from Feb. 10, 2018, to May 31, 2018.

The products subject to recall are New England Naturals Organic Muesli, Evoke Organic Classic Swiss, Evoke Organic Athlete Fuel, and Millville Fruit & Nut Whole Grain Granola. For the distribution details and identifying label codes, see chart below.

“Consumers should discontinue use of the product listed above and may return the product to the retail establishment it was purchased at for a refund,” according to the recall notice. “Consumers with further questions or concerns may call customer service at 413-772-2239.”

Anyone who has eaten any of the recalled products and developed symptoms of listeriosis should seek medical attention and tell their doctors about the possible exposure. Additionally, anyone who has eaten the recalled products recently should monitor themselves for symptoms during the coming weeks because it can take up to nine weeks after exposure for symptoms to develop.

Healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headaches, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea. Serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

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Categories: News in Food Safety

Publix recalls fruit mix because of Listeria risk in apricots

Food Safety news - June 15, 2017 - 10:01pm

Publix Super Markets is recalling its “Tropical Fruit Medley” from grocery stores in six Southern states because the supplier of dried apricots used in the mix reported possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination.

“The 5.7-ounce clear plastic containers of the mix were sold from Publix retail produce departments in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee and North Carolina with a UPC of 41415088586,” according to a recall notice posted Thursday on the Publix corporate website.

All use-by dates of the dried fruit mix are included in the recall, but the notice posted by Pubix did not say what dates are printed on the product labels.

“To date, there have been no reported cases of illness. Consumers who have purchased the product in question may return the product to their local store for a full refund. Publix customers with additional questions may call our consumer relations department at 800-242-1227 or by visiting our website at www.publix.com,” Maria Brous, Publix media and community relations director, said in the recall notice.

Anyone who has eaten any of the recalled fruit mix and developed symptoms of listeriosis should seek medical attention and tell their doctors about the possible exposure. Additionally, anyone who has eaten the fruit mix recently should monitor themselves for symptoms during the coming weeks because it can take up to nine weeks after exposure for symptoms to develop.

Healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headaches, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea. Serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

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Categories: News in Food Safety

Bulletproof 360 pulls protein bars, bites worldwide for Listeria

Food Safety news - June 15, 2017 - 10:01pm

To view photos of all five recalled Bulletproof 360 products, please click on the image.

Bulletproof 360 Inc. joined the list of companies recalling granola and protein bar products this week because of possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination of an ingredient from an outside supplier, pulling product across the U.S. and from more than 40 other countries.

Five different “Collagen Protein” bar and bite products are included in the recall, which which Bulletproof 360 initiated after its cashew butter supplier notified it of possible Listeria contamination.

“HVF Inc. supplied the cashew butter used as an ingredient in the (recalled) Bulletproof Collagen Bars and Bites. The affected equipment was not used to process the cashew butter contained in Bulletproof Collagen Bars and Bites; however, testing at HVF’s facility found Listeria contamination in another part of the facility,” according to the recall notice posted Thursday on the Food and Drug Administration’s website.

Other products, such as Bulletproof Collagen Powder, are not affected or involved in this recall. There had been no illnesses reported as of the posting of the recall notice. The implicated products were distributed across the United States and in more than 40 other countries between April 7 and June 12 in stores and online.

Bulletproof 360 sent the bars and bites to Australia, Bahrain, Bermuda, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Cayman Islands, China, Finland, France, Germany, Guam, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Korea, Kuwait, Liechtenstein, Macau, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

There is concern that consumers may have unused portions of the recalled protein bars and bites in their homes. The recalled products have best-by dates ranging from Nov. 1 through Dec. 25 this year.

Consumers can identify the recalled product by looking for the following label information and codes:

  • To view labels for all five of the recalled Bulletproof 360 products, please click on the image.

    Bulletproof’s Fudge Brownie Collagen Protein Bar, 1.58-ounces, with the UPC number 815709020811, lot codes 1057, 011007, 011087, 011177, 011257, 011437, 011497, and 01, and best-by dates of 110117, 110617, 111417, 112317, 120117, 121917, and 122517;

  • Bulletproof’s Fudge Brownie Collagen Protein Bite, .74-ounces, with the UPC number 815709021528, lot codes 1227, 011327, 011517, and 01, and best-by dates of 122717, 112817, and 120817;
  • Bulletproof’s Lemon Cookie Collagen Protein Bar, 1.58-ounces, with the UPC number 815709021801, lot codes 1017, 011027, 011387, and 01, and best-by dates of 110717, 110817, and 121417;
  • Bulletproof’s Vanilla Shortbread Collagen Protein Bar, 1.58-ounces, with the UPC number 815709021481, lot codes 1097, 011167, 011237, 011357, and 01, and best-by dates of 111517, 112217,112917, and 121117; and
  • Bulletproof’s Vanilla Shortbread Collagen Protein Bite, .74-ounces, with the UPC number 815709021504, lot codes 1147, 011217, and 01, and best-by dates of 112017, and 112717.

“Customers should not eat any Collagen Protein Bars or Bites that are subject to the recall, and should return them to Bulletproof. Customers will receive a full replacement or bulletproof.com store credit,” according to the recall notice.

Anyone who has eaten any of the recalled bars or bites and developed symptoms of listeriosis should seek medical attention and tell their doctors about the possible exposure. Additionally, anyone who has eaten the products recently should monitor themselves for symptoms during the coming weeks because it can take up to nine weeks after exposure for symptoms to develop.

Healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headaches, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea. Serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

“Bulletproof is informing all of its retailers and distributors of this recall, and is making every effort to contact customers who recently purchased Collagen Protein Bars or Bites from the lots listed above to inform them of the recall, and to facilitate the return or destruction of any unused product,” according to the recall notice.

Consumers with questions can call Bulletproof’s customer service staff at 425-434-9704.

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Categories: News in Food Safety

GoMacro, Thrive Bars recalled for possible Listeria in almonds

Food Safety news - June 15, 2017 - 10:00pm

GoMacro is recalling a limited number of MacroBars and Thrive Bars in the U.S. and Canada because they could be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

The company’s almond supplier notified GoMacro on Wednesday that an ingredient in specific MacroBars and Thrive Bars could be contaminated, according to the recall notice on the Food and Drug Administration’s website. No contamination has been reported in any of the GoMacro products, and no illnesses had been reported in connection with the implicated products as of the posting of the recall notice.

“The almond supplier has recalled all products made in their facility during the time of potential contamination. The only potentially affected ingredient supplied to GoMacro was one lot of almonds,” according to the recall notice.

“Retailers and distributors who received the recalled lots have been contacted and asked to pull these lots from their inventory and shelves. Consumers who have purchased these products are urged to return them to the place of purchase for a full refund.”

Consumers in the U.S. can identify the recalled bars by looking for the following label information and codes:

  • GoMacro’s Coconut + Almond Butter + Chocolate Chips MacroBar, 2.3-ounce, UPC number 853555006689, lot codes 3516, 3525, 3536, 3553 and 3571, and best-by dates of 010318, 011018, 011618, 012618 and 020618;
  • GoMacro’s Coconut + Almond Butter + Chocolate Chips Mini MacroBar, 0.9-ounce, UPC number 853555006719, lot codes 3537 and 3570, and best-by dates of 011618 and 020618;
  • Thrive Bar’s Chocolate, Nuts, & Sea Salt Thrive Bar, 1.4-ounce, UPC number 853555006504, lot codes 3569 and 3576, and best-by dates of 020618 and 020918; and
  • Thrive Bar’s Caramel Coconut Thrive Bar, 1.4-ounces, UPC 853555006528, lot code 3568, and best-by date of 020618.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency posted a recall notice Thursday for one flavor of GoMacro bars: Everlasting Joy Coconut + Almond Butter + Chocolate Chips MacroBars in 65-gram packages with a UPC number of 8 53555 00668 9. Two different codes and best-by dates are included:

  • Code 3525 with a best-by date of 1/10/2018; and
  • Code 3553 with a best-by date of 1/26/2018.

The recalled MacroBars and Thrive Bars were distributed by mail order, direct delivery, and to retail stores in the U.S. and internationally.

Anyone who has eaten any of the recalled products and developed symptoms of listeriosis should seek medical attention and tell their doctors about the possible exposure. Additionally, anyone who has eaten the products recently should monitor themselves for symptoms for the coming weeks because it can take up to nine weeks after exposure for symptoms to develop.

Healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headaches, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea. Serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

Consumers with questions can contact GoMacro’s Director of Operations Tony Saarem, at 608-627-2310.

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Categories: News in Food Safety

One out of five samples of food for babies test positive for lead

Food Safety news - June 15, 2017 - 10:00pm

Editor’s note: This column by Tim Neltner was originally published June 15 by the Environmental Defense Fund.

By now, it is well known that lead exposure is a significant human health concern, especially for young children. While most of the discussion about lead exposure has involved paint, drinking water, and contaminated soil or dust where young children live, play, and learn, the Environmental Defense Fund’s new report shows reason to pay more attention to another source: our food.

Until recently, we have known very little about the contribution of food to children’s lead exposure. In January 2017, an Environmental Protection Agency draft report indicated that food is a meaningful source of children’s exposure to lead. Using EPA’s data, we estimated that over 1 million young children consume more lead than what the Food and Drug Administration considers acceptable for children to eat every day.

From EPA’s analysis, we calculated that  that if lead in food were eliminated, millions of children would live healthier lives, and the total societal economic benefit would exceed $27 billion a year in increased lifetime earnings resulting from the impact of lead on children’s IQ.

To better understand the issue of lead in food, EDF evaluated over a decade’s worth of data collected and analyzed by the FDA as part of the agency’s Total Diet Study (TDS). Since the 1970s, the TDS has tracked metals, pesticides, and nutrients in up to 280 types of food yearly.

What did we find?
Overall, 20 percent of 2,164 baby food samples and 14 percent of another 10,064 food samples had detectable levels of lead. At least one sample in 52 of the 57 types of baby food analyzed by FDA had detectable levels of lead in it. Lead was most commonly found in the following baby foods:

  • This chart from EDF shows the percentage of composite samples of selected baby foods with detectable lead based on 2003-2013 FDA Total Diet Study data.

    Fruit juices — 89 percent of 44 grape juice samples contained detectable levels of lead, as did 67 percent of 111 mixed fruit samples, 55 percent of 44 apple samples, and 45 percent of 44 pear samples;

  • Root vegetables — 86 percent of 44 sweet potato samples and 43 percent of 44 carrot samples contained lead; and
  • Cookies — 64 percent of 44 Arrowroot cookie samples and 47 percent of 43 samples of teething biscuits contained lead.

In addition, we found that lead was more frequently detected in samples of the baby food versions of apple juice, grape juice, and carrots than in regular versions.

These findings raise important questions that need further investigation:

  • Are foods marketed for infants and babies more likely to have lead contamination when compared with similar products not marketed to infants and babies?
  • If there is a significant difference, what are the contributing factors? These might include the source of the crop, growing conditions, varieties, food and juice processing and preparation.

Opportunities to reduce lead in food
Lead in food is a problem that FDA and food manufacturers can and must address. EDF has identified actions for FDA and the food industry to take to reduce lead contamination in food. EDF recommends that FDA:

  • Ensure lead is not added to any food contact material where it is reasonably expected to get into food;
  • Make clear that the international standards for fruit juice are inadequate;
  • Update its limits and food safety guidance to reflect current scientific understanding of lead risks that better protect children; and
  • Encourage manufacturers to reduce lead levels in food, and take enforcement action when limits are exceeded.

Manufacturers need not wait for FDA to act. EDF recommends companies:

  • Set a goal of less than 1 ppb of lead in baby food and other foods marketed to young children;
  • Continue to prioritize lead contaminant minimization when sourcing ingredients;
  • Test more frequently during processing to identify additional sources of lead, and take appropriate corrective actions; and
  • Publicly commit to consumers to drive down lead levels through health-protective limits and robust product stewardship.

Parents should consult with their pediatricians to learn about all the ways to reduce lead exposure. They should check with their favorite brands to ask whether the companies regularly test their products for lead and whether they have measures in place to ensure that, especially for baby food, there is less than 1 ppb in the food they sell.

Healthy eating requires safe, nutritious food. We can and must do more to reduce and eliminate lead in our food supply.

Read the full Environmental Defense Fund report here.

About the author: Tom Neltner is chemicals policy director for the Environmental Defense Fund, a nonprofit organization based in Washington D.C. His primary focus is on food additive safety, where he promotes corporate partnerships and advances federal regulatory efforts to improve public health and the environment, and on lead where he works to advance legislative, regulatory and collaborative efforts to reduce lead exposure. He supports EDF’s work on chemical safety, especially lead, formaldehyde and hazardous materials management.

Categories: News in Food Safety

New England Natural Bakers Issues Voluntary Recall Due to Possible Health Risk

CDC Food Safety news - June 15, 2017 - 2:43pm
NEW ENGLAND NATURAL BAKERS of Greenfield MA, is issuing a voluntary recall, the company has been notified by an ingredient supplier that an ingredient used in these products has the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.
Categories: News in Food Safety

Nature Path granola recalled from Costco because of Listeria

Food Safety news - June 15, 2017 - 2:20pm

Another granola recall is underway because of possible Listeria contamination, this one from Nature’s Path Foods Inc. for their brand of Coconut & Cashew Butter Crunchy Granola, which was sold at Costco stores in Canada.

Nature’s Path notified Costco warehouses in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan of the issue, according to a  recall notice posted yesterday by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

“This recall was triggered by a recall in another country. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is conducting a food safety investigation, which may lead to the recall of other products,” according to the recall notice.

Several companies posted recalls this week in the United States involving granola and protein bars that were made with an unidentified ingredient from an unidentified supplier that could be contaminated with Listeria bacteria.

No illnesses had been reported in connection with the products as of the posting of the recall notices, but it can take 70 days after exposure for symptoms of Listeria infection to develop.

There is concern that consumers may have unused portions of the recalled granola in their homes. The best-by date for the recalled granola is labeled for use before March 2, 2018. To determine if they have the recalled product, consumers should look for the UPC number 58449172192 on the 720-gram Coconut & Caschew Butter Crunchy granola label.

Anyone who has eaten any of the recalled granola and developed symptoms of listeriosis should seek medical attention and tell their doctors about the possible exposure. Additionally, anyone who has eaten the granola recently should monitor themselves for symptoms for the coming weeks because it can take up to nine weeks after exposure for symptoms to develop.

Healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headaches, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea. Serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

For questions Nature’s Path Food Inc. can be reached at 866-800-7284.

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Categories: News in Food Safety

Kroger expands macadamia nut recall for Listeria risk

Food Safety news - June 15, 2017 - 11:39am

The Kroger Co. today announced it has expanded the recall of its 12-ounce packages of Simple Truth dry roasted macadamia nuts because of potential Listeria monocytogenes contamination.

Now the recall includes all of its stores nationwide under the following names: Kroger, Ralphs, Food 4 Less, Foods Co., Fred Meyer, Fry’s, King Soopers, City Market, Smith’s, Dillons, Baker’s, Gerbes, Jay C, Ruler Foods, Pay Less, Pick ‘N Save, Copps, Metro Market, Owen’s and QFC.

Customers who have purchased any of the recalled macadamia nuts should not consume them and should return them to a store for a full refund or replacement, according to the recall notice on the Food and Drug Administration’s website.

In May, Kroger was  informed by its supplier that the macadamia nuts used in this product may have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. Routine sampling of a different item produced by the supplier for another company revealed positive Listeria monocytogenes results, and a subsequent investigation of the manufacturing environment discovered a contaminated piece of equipment.

No customer illnesses related to the product had been reported as of today, but it can take up to 70 days after exposure for symptoms of Listeria infection to develop.

Consumers can identify the recalled nuts, which are in 12-ounce, clear plastic packages marked with the UPC number 11110-02478 and expiration dates of: “Dec. 09, 2017, Mar. 02, 2018, Mar. 03, 2018, or Apr. 07, 2018” stamped on the side.

Kroger distributed the nuts Dec. 29, 2016, to June 13 this year. Kroger has removed the following item from store shelves and initiated its customer recall notification system that alerts customers who may have purchased recalled products through register receipt tape messages and phone calls, according to the recall notice.

Anyone who has eaten any of the recalled nuts and developed symptoms of listeriosis should seek medical attention and tell their doctors about the possible exposure. Additionally, anyone who has eaten the macadamia nuts recently should monitor themselves for symptoms for the coming weeks because it can take up to nine weeks after exposure for symptoms to develop.

Healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headaches, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea. Serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

Kroger Co. operates 2,796 stores in 35 states and the District of Columbia under various names.

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Categories: News in Food Safety

Kroger Expands Recall of 12 oz. packages of Simple Truth Dry Roasted Macadamia Nuts because of Possible Health Risk

CDC Food Safety news - June 15, 2017 - 8:55am
The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) today announced it has expanded the recall of its 12 oz. packages of Simple Truth Dry Roasted Macadamia Nuts due to potential Listeria monocytogenes contamination. Listeria monocytogenes is an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems.
Categories: News in Food Safety

Gomacro Recalls Limited Number of Macrobars and Thrive Bars Because of Possible Health Risk

CDC Food Safety news - June 15, 2017 - 6:53am
GoMacro, of Viola, Wis., is recalling a limited number of MacroBars and Thrive Bars because they have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.
Categories: News in Food Safety

Bulletproof 360, Inc. Recalls Collagen Protein Bars and Bites Because of Possible Health Risk

CDC Food Safety news - June 15, 2017 - 4:00am
– Bulletproof 360, Inc. (“Bulletproof”) of Bellevue, Washington is recalling five Collagen Protein Bar and Bite products because they have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people and others with weakened immune systems.
Categories: News in Food Safety

Foodborne illness ravages Iraqi refugees; charity blamed

Food Safety news - June 14, 2017 - 10:08pm

In a refugee camp in Iraq, more than 800 people became sick and two may have died from a suspected foodborne illness that some in the region are saying was orchestrated by a charity group.

Media reports quoted Iraqi Health Minister Adila Hamoud earlier this week as having said two deaths had been caused by the outbreak, but the World Health Organization reported the same day that it had not documented any deaths. The United Nations estimates 6,235 people live in the camp.

Refugees wait for medical attention at the Hassan Sham U2 IDP camp in the Kurdistan Region. Photo courtesy of the Women and Health Alliance International

“Eight-hundred-and-twenty-five (825) cases have been reported, of these 638 were referred to various health facilities; 386 cases have been admitted to hospitals in Erbil,” according to the WHO’s Tuesday report on the situation at Hassan Sham U2 IDP camp, which is west of Erbil and about 13 miles east of Mosul.

“Currently no deaths have been documented. The affected communities are mainly internally displaced people from west Mosul, of whom a third of all the cases were children and two-thirds were female.”

The WHO is assisting local and federal health officials with the investigation of the outbreak. Investigators from the WHO collected food samples and victims’ stool samples for testing at the Central Public Health Laboratory in Erbil.

People at the refugee camp began having symptoms of foodborne illness after a June 12 iftar, an evening meal that Muslims use to break their dawn-to-dusk fasting during their holy month of Ramadan.

Outbreak victims have flooded area hospitals and clinics, leaving medical staff to treat patients any place they can find. Photo courtesy of WHO

“The majority of the cases predominately presented with vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhea, consistent with foodborne illness,” according to the WHO. “All patients referred to health facilities have rapidly improved on supportive medical treatment.”

Although the WHO did not speculate about how food served at the refugee camp might have become contaminated, at least one Iraqi official told the Associated Press it was an intentional, aggressive act.

“An Iraqi lawmaker who visited the camp and Saudi state television accused a charity from Qatar — a small Gulf Arab country engulfed in a major diplomatic dispute with Saudi Arabia and several other Arab and Muslim nations — of providing the tainted food,” the AP reported. “The claims could not be independently confirmed and Qatari officials did not immediately answer calls for comment.”

The Iraqi health minister would not speculate on whether food could have been intentionally contaminated, according to the AP.

Raad al-Dahlaki, chair of the Iraqi parliament’s immigration and displacement committee, visited the camp and told the AP the suspect meal included rice, a bean sauce, meat, yogurt and water. Al-Dahlaki said the meals were distributed by a Qatari charity known as RAF, according to the AP.

Although the WHO report did not mention where the suspect food came from, and did not suggest the contamination was intentional, the international health organization did include a reminder from the local health officials.

“In light of this event, Erbil Directorate of Health further reiterates its earlier instruction to all camp managers to avoid any distribution of hot meals to IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons).”

The refugees in the Hassan Sham U2 camp meet the definition of IDPs. Most of them fled their homes in and around Mosul beginning in October 2016 after a U.S.-backed Iraqi offensive was launched against the Islamic State group from the city.

Organizations assisting the WHO with the outbreak are the International Medical Corps; ADRA; the International Organization for Migration; Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) and Barazani Charity Foundation. They are helping identify and manage outbreak victims’ cases.

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Categories: News in Food Safety

Survey shows decrease of campylobacter in UK fresh chicken

Food Safety news - June 14, 2017 - 10:01pm

The British Food Standards Agency on Wednesday published the latest results from its survey of campylobacter on fresh, shop-bought, United Kingdom-produced chickens, reporting a drop of almost 10 percent compared to 2016.

Across the market, 6.5 percent of chickens tested were positive for the highest level of contamination, carrying more than 1,000 colony-forming units per gram (cfu/g). That is down from 9.3 percent for the same period this past year.

Latest Results
This is the second set of results from the third annual retail survey by the Food Standards Agency (FSA). The results are based on tests of 1,051 whole fresh chickens sampled from January to March.

The latest data from the survey also showed that:

  • The figure for high-level campylobacter prevalence (>1000cfu/g) among the nine named retailers was 5 percent, compared to 7.8 percent in 2016.
  • The retailers that had significantly lower levels compared to the average among all retailers were M&S, Morrisons and Waitrose, at 2.5 percent, 2.8 percent and 2.7 percent respectively
  • The group consisting of a number of smaller retailers and butchers described as “others,” had a significantly higher level of contaminated chickens with 16.9 percent of those tested returning positive results.
  • Of chicken skin samples tested for campylobacter at any level, 48.8 percent were positive for the pathogen, compared to 50 percent which tested positive in the same period last year.

Clear results
“It is good to see that levels continue to go down as this indicates that the major retailers and processors are getting to grips with campylobacter,” said FSA Chairman Heather Hancock. “These results give us a clear picture of the positive direction in which we are heading, and help us measure the impact of interventions that are being used to reduce contamination. While results are reassuring, we want to see more progress among the smaller businesses, to achieve real and lasting reductions.

“In the meantime, I am delighted to see the commitment and responsibility that the industry has shown, so far, in their efforts to provide consumers with food they can trust. They have invested a lot of effort and money into interventions to tackle the problem and it is showing clear results.”

To read the entire report, please click on the image.

The consumer group known as “Which?” likes the progress being made, but noted that in many cases half of UK-produced chickens are still contaminated.

“It is encouraging to see that the overall levels of campylobacter in chickens are falling and that major retailers are meeting the FSA’s target, said Alex Neill, managing director of home products and services for Which? “However, there is no room for complacency as the survey shows that levels can vary greatly depending on where consumers shop and in many cases over half of chickens are still contaminated.”

The results for the first five months of the third retail survey, published in March 2017, showed that 7 percent of chickens tested were positive for the highest level of contamination, down from 12 percent for the same period in 2015 and 20 percent in 2014. This improvement in the highest levels of contamination is mirrored by the decrease in the number of human cases — an estimated 100,000 fewer cases of Campylobacter infection in 2016.

The results meet the goals agreed to by the FSA Board to reduce the number of people getting ill from food poisoning. The reduction was estimated to lead to a direct saving to the economy of over £13 million in terms of fewer days off work and National Health Service costs.

The FSA has been testing chickens for campylobacter since February 2014 and publishing the results as part of its campaign to bring together the whole food chain to tackle the problem. Campylobacter is the most common cause of food poisoning in the UK.

All results in the following table are taken from the official statistics report for the survey. This report gives a full explanation of the results and background to the methodology.

The FSA advises that the data for individual retailers have to be interpreted carefully. Confidence intervals are given for each retailer and the “others” category. These show the likely range of the results allowing for the number of samples taken. The 95 percent confidence interval means the FSA would expect the true prevalence to fall within the lower and upper confidence limits 95 percent of the time.

The 95 percent confidence intervals are shown in parentheses in the table. They reflect the uncertainty in the estimate and provide a range of values within which the true prevalence will lie 95 percent of the time, according to the report.

The overall prevalence of Campylobacter on chickens sampled, by retailer: January – March 2017

Retailer Number of
samples tested
% of skin samples
positive for Campylobacter
% of skin samples
over 1000 cfu/g Campylobacter
Aldi 110 51.8 (42.1 – 61.4) 5.5 (2.0 – 11.5) Asda 109 56.0 (46.1 – 65.5) 7.3 (3.2 – 14.0) Co-op 94 63.8 (53.3 – 73.5) 4.3 (1.2 – 10.5) Lidl 109 57.8 (48.0 – 67.2) 9.2 (4.5 – 16.2) M&S 119 56.3 (46.9 – 65.4) 2.5 (0.5 – 7.2) Morrisons 109 39.4 (30.2 – 49.3) 2.8 (0.6 – 7.8) Sainsbury’s 104 50.0 (40.0 – 60.0) 7.7 (3.4 – 14.6) Tesco 104 41.3 (31.8 – 51.4) 3.8 (1.1 – 9.6) Waitrose 110 28.2 (20.0 – 37.6) 2.7 (0.6 – 7.8) Others 83 59.0 (47.7 – 69.7) 16.9 (9.5 – 26.7) All 1051 48.8 (45.3 – 52.4) 6.5 (4.8 – 8.3)

 

Consumer Advice
Chicken is safe as long as consumers follow good kitchen practice:

  • Cover and chill raw chicken — Cover raw chicken and store at the bottom of the refrigerator so juices cannot drip on to other foods and contaminate them with food poisoning bacteria such as Campylobacter.
  • Don’t wash raw chicken — Cooking to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F will kill any bacteria present, including Campylobacter, while washing chicken can spread bacteria via splashing water.
  • Wash used utensils — Thoroughly wash and clean all utensils, chopping boards and surfaces used to prepare raw chicken. Wash hands thoroughly with soap and running water after handling raw chicken. This helps stop the spread of Campylobacter by avoiding cross contamination.
  • Cook chicken thoroughly — Make sure chicken is steaming hot all the way through by using a food thermometer to verify the internal temperature at the thickest part is 165 degrees F.

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Categories: News in Food Safety

Loving Pets, Whole Hearted dog treats recalled for Salmonella

Food Safety news - June 14, 2017 - 10:00pm

Dogs and their owners are at risk of contracting Salmonella infections from eating and handling treats sold under the Loving Pets and Whole Hearted brands, according to a recall notice posted Wednesday by the FDA.

Loving Pets of Cranbury, NJ, initiated the recall after routine food safety testing revealed Salmonella contamination of an ingredient from a supplier. People who handle the dog treats could contract a Salmonella infection, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the products or any surfaces exposed to the products.

“This possible contamination was discovered by Loving Pets’ internal quality assurance team and was identified through the company’s standard quality control testing procedures and internal food safety program,” according to the recall notice posted on the Food and Drug Administration’s website.

“Loving Pets produces its treats in small batches, in order to offer the highest quality and control in safety. To ensure the safety of its products, Loving Pets decided to be extra cautious and recall a wider range of lot numbers (noted below) so that no possible contaminated product is available on the market.”

No human or canine illnesses, injuries or complaints had been reported as of the posting of the recall notice. The company did not provide any distribution information in its recall notice.

Consumers can identify the recalled dog treats by looking for the following label information:

  • Loving Pets Barksters Item #5700 Sweet Potato and Chicken with the UPC number 842982057005 and Lot 021619;
  • Loving Pets Barksters Item #5705 Brown Rice and Chicken with the UPC number 842982057050 and Lot 021419;
  • Loving Pets Puffsters Snack Chips Item #5100 Apple and Chicken with the UPC number 842982051003 and any of the following Lot numbers 051219, 112118, 112918, 012719, 012519, 013019;
  • Loving Pets Puffsters Snack Chips Item #5110 Banana and Chicken with the UPC number 842982051102 and any of the following Lot numbers 112218, 112818, 112918, 013119;
  • Loving Pets Puffsters Snack Chips Item #5120 Sweet Potato and Chicken with the UPC number 842982051201 and either Lot 112818 or Lot 020119;
  • Loving Pets Puffsters Snack Chips Item #5130 Cranberry and Chicken with the UPC number 842982051300 and any of the following Lot numbers 020319, 112918, 020219; and
  • Whole Hearted Item #2570314 Chicken and Apple Puff Treats with the UPC number 800443220696 and any of the following Lot numbers 121418, 121918, 122318, 010419, 010619, 010519.

Anyone who has handled the recalled dog treats and developed symptoms on Salmonella infection should seek medical attention and tell their doctors about the possible exposure to the pathogen.

Symptoms and include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. Rarely, Salmonella can result in more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and urinary tract symptoms.

Any pets that have eaten any of the recalled treats and developed symptoms of Salmonella infection should be taken to a veterinarian immediately. Symptoms for dogs can include lethargy, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product, please contact your veterinarian.

Consumers may return any bag of treats with any of these implicated lot numbers to the retailer where the product was originally purchased. For additional information, please visit www.LovingPetsProducts.com or call 866-599-PETS (7387).

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Categories: News in Food Safety

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