July 25th, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
Bridgeport, CT-based Specialty Farms, LLC, is voluntarily recalling its Organic Alfalfa Sprouts Blend (UPC code 8192400108) and Organic Sprout Salad (UPC code 8192400024) because they may be contaminated with the bacterium Listeria Monocytogenes (Lm).
The products have a sell-by date of 7/26/2010 and are sold in 4-oz. plastic containers.
Lm can cause serious and occasionally fatal infections in young children, the elderly and individuals with weakened immune systems. Healthy people may suffer short-term signs and symptoms: high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea. The bacterium can also cause miscarriages and stillbirths.
Products dated 7/27/2010 and later are not included in this recall. The affected products were distributed to the retailer Price Chopper and to the distributor Cooseman’s in the following states: New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Pennsylvania.
If you have purchased these products, return them to the store for a refund. If you have any questions, contact Specialty Farms at (203) 366-6919 (9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST).
Read More:Organic Sprouts Recalled in Northeast
July 8th, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
Ready-to-eat bagged salads seem a lot less appealing these days.
In May, Fresh Express recalled romaine-based salads and organicgirl Produce recalled packaged organic spinach because of salmonella concerns.
Now, Ready Pac Foods, Inc., is recalling 702 cases of the Baby Spinach variety of its Spinach Temptations 6-oz. bagged salads, which may be contaminated with E. coli.
The products have “Use by” dates of July 4 (with Product Code 11707B, IR127121) and July 8 (with Product Code 12007B, IR130373). They were sold in California, Washington and Arizona.
Random sample testing conducted by the FDA revealed the presence of E. coli. No illnesses have been reported to date.
Retailers and consumers who have potentially contaminated products should dispose of them immediately. Consumers can contact the company at (800) 800-7822 (8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, PT) to obtain a full refund.
Read More:Ready Pac Foods Recalls Baby Spinach
June 22nd, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
Pacoima, Calif.-based Natural Balance Pet Foods, Inc., a manufacturer of natural and organic pet foods, is voluntarily recalling its Sweet Potato & Chicken Dry Dog Food because it may be contaminated with salmonella.
The affected products, sold in 5- and 28-lb. bags, have a “Best By” date of June 17, 2011.
During routine FDA testing, a random product sample was found to be contaminated. No illnesses have been reported to date.
Recalled products were distributed in pet specialty stores in Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
If you’ve purchased this product, return it to the store for a full refund. For additional information, call Natural Balance Pet Foods Customer Service at (800) 829-4493 (8 a.m. to 5 p.m. PDT).
Salmonella Infection in Pets
Salmonella can infect humans and animals.
Infected pets may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever and vomiting. Some pets will exhibit only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.
Infected, but otherwise healthy, pets can be carriers of salmonella, with the potential to infect other animals or humans. Owners can also become infected after handling dry pet food, especially if they fail to wash their hands.
Read More:Natural Balance Issues Dog Food Recall
June 4th, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
McDonald’s has voluntarily recalled approximately 12 million Shrek Forever After collectible glasses (above)—sold since May 21 at the chain’s U.S. restaurants—because they contain high levels of cadmium.
The premium incentive (aka McBribery) was designed to accompany the Shrek Happy Meal promotion (right), which launched last month as a tie-in with the new Shrek 3D movie.
You can thank California Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-San Francisco/San Mateo) for bringing the issue to light. She had been informed last week by anonymous sources that high levels of cadmium had been detected in the glassware, and she alerted the chair of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. The commission tested the glasses and confirmed they contained cadmium.
All four designs—Puss ’n’ Boots, Shrek, Princess Fiona and Donkey—are affected by the recall. Refunds will be available beginning Tuesday. Consumers with questions may also call McDonald’s at (800) 244-6227.
“Although McDonald’s did the right thing by recalling these products, we need stronger testing standards to ensure that all children’s products are proven safe before they hit the shelves,” Speier says. “Cadmium is a toxic substance that is extremely dangerous to the developmental health of children.”
Photos (top to bottom): Consumer Product Safety Commission, McDonald’s
Read More:How About Some Cadmium with Your Happy Meal?
May 29th, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
We have yet another recall to report, and this one involves organic spinach.
Salinas, Calif.-based organicgirl Produce is voluntarily recalling 336 cases of 10-oz. baby spinach packages because of potential salmonella contamination.
The affected products have an expired use-by date of May 22, are labeled with product code 11A061167 and were sold in six states: Alabama, North Carolina, Oregon, Wisconsin, Arizona and California.
None of the company’s other products are included in the recall.
A random test conducted by an FDA-authorized laboratory found a single package of baby spinach was contaminated. No illnesses have been reported.
Consumers who have a potentially affected package should immediately dispose of it. If you have any questions, call the organicgirl Produce consumer hotline at (831) 758-7810 (8 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST weekdays).
Retailers are being asked to check their inventories and store shelves to confirm that none of the potentially affected product is present or available for purchase.
Read More:organicgirl Produce Recalls Baby Spinach
May 26th, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
And the salmonella hits just keep on comin’…
Two recent recalls—romaine lettuce and alfalfa sprouts—were bad enough, but we have a new one to report: Salinas, Calif.-based Fresh Express just announced a salmonella-related recall of specific Fresh Express romaine-based, ready-to-eat salads.
Affected products have expiration dates of May 13 through May 16, as well as an “S” in their product codes. Please refer to the full product list at the end of this article.
At press time, the recall extended only to products with these use-by dates and product codes that were sold in the following states: Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Louisiana, Nebraska, Montana, Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Nevada, Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, North Dakota and South Dakota.
The recall has been issued because a single package of Fresh Express Hearts of Romaine Salad, with a use-by date of May 15, tested positive for salmonella in a random sample test conducted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Because it’s still possible that products bearing these dates could be on store shelves, this recall extends to both retailers and consumers.
Consumers who have an affected product should immediately dispose of it and contact a Fresh Express consumer representative at (800) 242-5472 (Monday through Friday, 24 hours per day).
The affected products include:
Read More:Fresh Express Recalls Romaine-Based Salads
May 24th, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
Maywood, Calif.-based Caldwell Fresh Foods has issued a voluntary nationwide recall of all alfalfa sprout products, which have been linked to a salmonella outbreak in 10 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Missouri, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon and Wisconsin.
Of the 22 confirmed patients, six have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.
Sprouts were sold under three brand names:
- Caldwell Fresh Foods
- Nature’s Choice
- California Exotics
The sprouts were distributed to a variety of restaurants, delicatessens and retailers, including Trader Joe’s and Wal-Mart stores. Some outbreak patients reported eating sprouts at restaurants; others purchased them at retail outlets.
Consumers and restaurant/delicatessen operators should immediately stop using the affected products.
Caldwell’s other products, including organic selections like cole slaw mix, carrots, onions, celery and stir-fry blends, are not affected by this recall.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is investigating the outbreak in cooperation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), California Department of Public Health and public health agencies in other affected states. Scientists are now inspecting the firm’s facility and collecting samples.
Read More:FDA Issues Urgent National Recall of Alfalfa Sprouts
May 16th, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and stage agencies have confirmed that the current multistate E. coli outbreak can be traced to bags of shredded romaine lettuce (not organic) distributed by Sydney, OH-based Freshway Foods.
As of Tuesday, there were 23 confirmed and 7 probable affected patients in Michigan, New York, Ohio and Tennessee—12 of whom have been hospitalized and 3 with hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a potentially life-threatening condition.
With HUS, the body’s blood-clotting mechanisms are altered, causing blocked circulation and/or bleeding in the brain or kidneys.
Based on available data, illnesses presented between April 10 and 26. Infected patients range in age from 13 to 31, with a median age of 19; 66% are male.
The recall of potentially contaminated products continues, and investigators are attempting to determine the supply-chain point where contamination occurred. They’re taking samples from Freshway’s processing facility, as well as a farm in Yuma, AZ, that grew the lettuce.
Graphic courtesy of the CDC
Read More:Romaine Officially Linked to E. Coli Outbreak
May 8th, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
Sidney, OH-based Freshway Foods has voluntarily recalled certain nonorganic packages of shredded and chopped romaine lettuce, as well as prepared salad bowls, because of a possible link between contaminated products and an outbreak of foodborne disease.
The outbreak, which the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is currently investigating, involves E. coli O145 illnesses among Michigan, Ohio and New York consumers.
According to Freshway, the romaine was sold to wholesalers, food-service outlets, and some in-store salad bars and delis in Alabama, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
The recalled packages (click here for a complete list) have a “best if used by” date of May 12 or earlier. Restaurants, distributors, retailers and consumers should throw out or refrain from using products with these dates—many of which were sold in grab-and-go salads at Kroger, Giant Eagle and Ingles Markets, as well as Marsh stores.
Packages with “use by” dates after May 12 are not involved in the recall, nor is romaine from other producers.
To date, 19 confirmed cases of E. coli O145 illness have been reported in Michigan, Ohio and New York, with 12 hospitalizations.
Common symptoms of E. coli infection include mild or major diarrhea. Acute symptoms include severe abdominal cramps and diarrhea, which may be bloody. Patients may progress to serious complications, such as kidney damage.
The FDA urges consumers who have eaten listed romaine products and who now have symptoms to call their physicians immediately.
If you have additional questions, please call Freshway Foods’ information desk at (888) 361-7106 (8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday), or visit the company’s website for updates.
Read More:Romaine Lettuce Recalled After E. Coli Outbreak
April 20th, 2010 - Laura Klein
If you haven’t seen Food Inc. yet, now is your chance. It is a must see. It premiers on PBS’s POV April 21st! Check your local listings for the broadcast schedule. You can even download materials from the POV website to host your own viewing party.
This Academy Award nominated film is a powerful eye opening documentary about the truth behind America’s food supply. It questions whether America’s industrial food system produces healthy, nutritious, life-sustaining stuff we call food. If you take one look at America’s current health care crisis you might ask the same questions.
Food Inc., features several poignant interviews that caution us about the nutritional value of America’s food supply and question if our food products, including processed foods, fresh meat and produce, are in fact a threat to public health and safety. Interviews include Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation), Michael Pollan (The Omnivore’s Dilemma) (two food movement heroes), sustainable, organic farmer Joel Salatin of Virginia’s Polyface Farms and mother, Barbara Kowalcyk. Kowalcyk’s 2 1/2 year old son died 12 days after eating a hamburger contaminated with E. coli.
The documentary also raises serious questions about ethical business practices of food giants Monsanto, Tyson, Perdue and Smithfield companies. When these companies were asked to tell their side of the story to filmmakers, they declined to comment.
This past week California public health officials issued another recall on ground beef products sold at WinCo food stores in six western states, stating it could be contaminated with E. coli.
Despite some of the heavy issues Food Inc tackles, the film is driven by visionaries of alternative businesses and activists that are leading the food movement to delicious, healthy, safe food for America.
Read More On America’s Food Safety Issues:
Monsanto’s Seedy Business
Tyson Foods Lied To Consumers About Drugs Used To Raise Their Chickens
FDA Fills New Position with Monsanto Hormone Guy
Monsanto is Hogging Hawaii’s Water
Big Agribusiness Dictating U.S. Food Safety
A Chemical Reaction to the White House Garden
E. coli Outbreak and Our Contaminated Food Supply
Most Chicken Producers’ Safeguards “Inadequate”
Russia and China Say Thanks, But No Thanks, to U.S. Poultry
Antibiotics: Tyson Chicken Wants to Lie to Consumers
USDA Allows Contaminated Chicken in Stores
Read More:Food Inc To Air on PBS’s POV