Articles Posted in Food Recalls

A recent FDA food recall announcement stated that Rich Foods Corporation, of Buffalo, New York, issued a voluntary recall on June 18, 2010 of its Allen Bavarian Creme Filling. The filling may contain traces of pecans, milk, and coconut. Both pecans and milk are common allergens that must be listed on a food item’s packaging. Allergies to coconut also exist, and all three types of allergies may be severe, and people who accidentally consume an item to which they are severely allergic may experience a life-threatening reaction.

Rich Foods Corporation announced that it had received no reports of anyone with an allergy to the undeclared milk, pecans, or coconut accidentally eating the crème filling. Instead, it issued the recall as a precautionary measure.

The crème filling was not sold in retail supermarkets. Instead, it was sold in 3.5-gallon pails to foodservice distributors and in-store bakeries nationwide, including stores in Pennsylvania. Rich Foods Corporation has recalled five separate batches of the filling due to undeclared allergens. The recalled batches bear production codes 11870137F21, F-22, F-23, F-24, and F-25. Businesses that purchased the filling are advised to remove it from their businesses and destroy it.

As consumers, we assume that the products we use are safe. This is never more applicable than in our consumption of food. According to a nj.com article, a long-awaited bill proposed by the Senate to overhaul the food safety system set forth by the Food and Drug Administration has been unanimously approved. However, it still needs to go for a floor vote, which is speculated to not take place until sometime in 2010. The bill will allow the FDA to recall tainted food rather than simply make a request to the manufacturer of the food to do so, and will also require food manufacturing plants, especially high-risk facilities, to be regularly inspected.

Currently, the FDA is responsible for safeguarding nearly 80% of the food supply in the U.S. However, safeguarding against food-borne illness does not always prevent the public from falling ill due to tainted food. Currently, it is estimated that nearly 76 million Americans are affected each year by food-borne pathogens. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 5,000 people die annually due to such illness.
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Unilever, the maker of the popular weight loss drink Slim-Fast, has recalled 10 million cans of its canned diet drinks because they may be tainted by bacterial contamination. According to a yahoo.com report, Unilever believes that the dietary aid may be tainted by Bacillus cereus, a bacteria that can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. The recall only affects ready-to-drink Slim-Fast products, and not the brand’s powdered shakes or snack bars.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) became aware of the problem and notified Unilever of the possible contamination on December 2, 2009. The FDA is currently investigating the matter, paying particular attention to a production facility in Covington, Tennessee. Customers who have in their possession such canned drinks should immediately discard those drinks and may contact Unilever at 1-800-896-9479 for a full refund.
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