Procter & Gamble, the makers of Pringles potato chips, has issued a recall of two of its flavors: Restaurant Cravers Cheeseburger and Family Faves Taco Night. Maybe things got a little out of hand anyway when they started making cheeseburger and taco flavored potato chips!
The decision to recall the chips was made when salmonella was found on the plant equipment of Las Vegas-based company Basic Food Flavors, which provides the flavor-enhancing hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP) in the aforementioned Pringles flavors.
While the recall is being classified as voluntary, it comes on the heels of a recommendation from the Food and Drug Administration to do so.
What is hydrolyzed vegetable protein? It’s a darling of the processed food world. It’s produced by boiling grains or legumes, such as soy, corn, or wheat, in hydrochloric acid. The solution is then neutralized with sodium hydroxide. The acid breaks down the protein in vegetables, resulting in a dark liquid that consumers would recognize as monosodium glutamate, or MSG, a common flavor enhancer in processed foods.
Salmonella is a food-borne pathogen that can cause severe illnesses. The bacterial infection can cause fever, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea. While most people recover without medical help, in some cases the infection can be life-threatening, particularly with young children, the elderly, and people with weak immune systems.
But, Pringles isn’t alone. The FDA has issued a list of 56 foods that have been recalled for the same risk of salmonella poisoning, including bouillon products, salad dressing mixes, marinades, frozen foods and more. These foods also used hydrolyzed vegetable protein. You can peruse the complete list at the FDA’s website.
(via: Christian Science Monitor)
March 18th, 2010