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Product Recall



Trader Joe’s Peanut Butters Recalled Due to Salmonella Risk

If peanut butter is your jam, be on the lookout for some recalls this week. Last Friday, Trader Joe’s made headlines when it announced a voluntary recall of its Salted Valencia Peanut Butter on suspicioun of it containing a rare strain of salmonella

Since then, Trader Joe’s peanut butter producer, Sunland Inc., has followed suit after several people were reported sick.

The company recalled all of the nut-based spreads it sells to other companies, including Target’s Archer Farms and Earth Balance.

The nut butter recall initially included only peanut and almond butter, but was extended to include cashew butter, tahini, and roasted blanched peanut products manufactured between May 1, 2012 and September 24, 2012.

As reported by the NPR’s ‘The Salt,’ the recall was initiated after Sunland learned that 29 people were reported having the illness Salmonella Bredeny PFGE in approximately 18 states. Those states included Washington, California, Arizona, Texas, Louisiana, Missouri, Illinois, Minnesota, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, North Carolina, Virginia, Connecticut, New Jersey and Maryland, according to a report issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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RECALL: Cantaloupe from Burch Equipment

UDATED August 23, 2012The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has identified the southern Indiana farm responsible for producing the cantaloupes linked to the deadly salmonella outbreak that has reportedly infected 178 people in 21 states. Chamberlain Farms of Owensville has been named as one potential source for the outbreak that has killed two people and hospitalized 62 more, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As a result, the farm has voluntarily recalled its melons, although the FDA nor the farm have released any information regarding the cause of the contamination. 

Another product recall has happened, so be on the look out for fruit you may have purchased on July 15 or later. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning to consumers to avoid eating whole cantaloupes from Burch Equipment LLC, of Faison, North Carolina, because of possible contamination with Listeria monocytogenes (L. mono).

What You Need to Know
The company shipped 580 cases of whole cantaloupes on July 15 that were delivered to retail stores in New York, Maine, and possibly other states. If you have a cantaloupe with a red label and the words “Burch Farms” and referencing PLU #4319, discard it immediately.

The cantaloupes tested positive for L. mono during sampling carried out in New York by the USDA Microbiological Data Program. Following the positive result, on July 28, Burch Equipment issued a voluntary recall of 580 cases of cantaloupes. As of yet, no illnesses have been reported that would be linked to the cantaloupes.
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Listeria Contamination Forces Recall of 325,000 Pounds of Frozen Meat

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced over the weekend a recall of nearly 325,000 pounds of frozen, ready-to-eat meat products manufactured by Buona Vita Inc. because of a possible listeria contamination. Listeria bacteria can cause listeriosis, a potentially fatal bacterial infection.

Buona Vita Inc., based out of New Jersey, makes precooked, frozen Italian food products. Products affected include meatballs, dinner loafs, salisbury patties, breakfast patties, and burger patties made with chicken, pork, beef, and turkey.

Brand names included in the recall are:

  • Buona Vita Inc.
  • Cupino
  • Mama Isabella
  • Vincent Giordano
  • Dirusso
  • Silver Lake
  • Argenta Pride
  • Whitsons Food Service
  • M&R Frosted Food Co.
  • Orefresco
  • Bullpen
  • Napoli
  • Whorle’s
  • Buonamici
  • Monabella
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Dole Recalls 756 Cases of Salad

The Dole Food Co., is recalling 756 cases of bagged salad because they are suspect to be contaminated with salmonella.

The bags thought to be contaminated are the Seven Lettuces salads variety, which had been distributed in Alabama, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin.

According to Dole, a random sample test in New York revealed a positive salmonella result, which is why the bags are being recalled. The recalled bags had a use-by date of April 11, 2012, UPC code 71430 01057, and product codes 0577N089112A and 0577N089112B. At this time, no other Dole salads are included in the recall.

The company is reportedly coordinating with regulatory officials to rectify the problem. They have also contacted retailers to ensure the bags in question are no longer available for sale.
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Reconditioning: The FDA’s Really Dirty Secret is Out

Did you know our government says companies can sell us food with an average of 225 insect fragments? Or that 4.5 rodent hairs per 8 ounces of noodle products is acceptable? Swallow this: the FDA also says that an average of 20 or more maggots is permitted per 3.5 ounces of drained canned mushrooms, or that an average of 15 percent is OK for the mold content in canned cranberry sauce. Our government has a lot of rules about “bad” or “tainted” food that I was pretty shocked to learn about, one of which is reconditioning.

Recently a school lunch supplier, SnoKist Growers, repackaged moldy applesauce into fruit cups and canned goods. Even though the public outcry has caused the FDA to re-inspect, this is not an illegal practice. The company, per FDA standards, is allowed to run the food through a heat process to kill the contaminant. This process then renders the food safe and shelf ready. This same process was used in 2010 when over 177 products were recalled from Basic Food Flavors, Inc., a hydrolyzed vegetable protein, or HVP, producer. Salmonella was found in their HVP, a very popular flavor enhancer, and thus the company heat-treated the HVP and it was reconditioned, distributed, and sold.

FDA officials say they expect some contaminants to in products, simply because a zero-tolerance threshold would be impossible to for manufacturers to meet. As the consumer, I’d like to know if my rice was re-sifted because a month ago to remove bug parts. I really want to know if the applesauce I buy for my son was full of mold weeks prior. However, the FDA does not require a label or notification or even a price reduction to shoppers, nor is it going to any time soon. I doubt anyone would buy rice with a label stating, “Contained bugs last month.”
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