It has been a busy week relating to recalls announced by the FDA and other food safety authorities.The recalls range from Undeclared Allergens to severe foodborne bacteria – like Salmonella and Botulism.  In this week’s recalls: chicken wraps, spanish rolls, kababayan, candy, cashews, and soup are in the hot seat. For convenience, we have sorted the various recalls based on the reason the recall was issued.

Undeclared Allergens

The first recall was issued on September 1, 2016, when Atherstone Foods, of Richmond California, recalled 422 pounds of chicken wrap products. Only one variety of chicken wrap is being recalled: Greens & Grains Southwestern Style White Chicken Wrap with chimichurri sauce. These products were produced on August 29, 2016, and were distributed to retail locations in California. Chicken wraps subject to recall can be identified by the “Use By” date of 090616, and the establishment number “P-34221”. The 31.2 ounce packages were recalled after routine label verification revealed that soy was not listed among the ingredients. There have not been any adverse reactions reported in relation to this recall.

The chicken wraps were not the only products recalled for undeclared allergens. On September 2, 2016, Regalo Bakery issued a recall for a myriad of products because of undeclared eggs, wheat, milk, soy, and artificial food coloring. The Honolulu-based company recalled products including spanish rolls, manju blackbeans, manju onions, balintawak, taro bread, and kababayan. Most of these products contained all the above mentioned allergens, but recalled kababayan does not contain eggs. All of these products were distributed to local locations of stores such as Longs, 7-Eleven, Target, Foodland, Don Quijote, and others. A full list of products, and the codes that are associated with them, can be found here. There have not been any reports of illness linked to this recall.

Lastly, Kanan Enterprises issued a recall for Southern Grove Cashews with Sea Salt, after concerns arose that they might contain peanuts. Southern Grove Cashews with Sea Salt is the only product being recalled. Recalled cashews can be identified by the UPC code 041498189921 and a Best By date of either May 24 2017 KN or Aug 05 2017 KN. Products with codes and Best By dates other than those listed are not affected by the recall. These products were shipped to Ohio, Kansas, and Minnesota. There have been no reports of reaction or anaphylaxis associated with this recall, and no one appears to be injured.

Allergens are different than most causes of foodborne issues in that while exposure to bacteria or a virus may lead to the development of illness, exposure to allergens triggers an allergic reaction. These reactions can come in the form of itchiness, cramps, shortness of breath, and difficulty swallowing. In rare cases, an allergic reaction can cause a side effect called anaphylaxis, which can be fatal. Pretty much everything could be a potential allergen, but there are some items that more commonly cause issues, such as wheat, gluten, eggs, milk, pine nuts, peanuts, walnuts, almonds, and sesame. Because allergies to those allergens are common, the FDA requires all items containing them to be marked as such. If you or a loved one begins to show the symptoms of an allergic reaction, contact a medical professional. If a person appears to be suffering from anaphylaxis, you may need to use an Epi-pen to calm their symptoms before help arrives.

Salmonella

On September 2, 2016, Asher’s Chocolates/Lewistown, Inc. issued a recall for multiple chocolate products. Asher’s Chocolates is an affiliate of Chester A. Asher Inc.  Products recalled include individually wrapped chocolates, chocolate bars, and cellophane wrapped chocolates. These chocolates were produced in the company’s Lewistown, Pennsylvania facility and were eventually distributed to retail stores nationwide. Products produced at the Souderton, Pennsylvania facility are not affected by the recall. A full list of recalled products and their identifying information can be found here. Identifying codes and marks can be found on the side label.

Salmonella bacteria cause an illness in humans called Salmonellosis. Salmonellosis is one of the most common sources of foodborne illness in the United States, where the CDC estimates that 1.2 million cases of Salmonella poisoning take place each year. A Salmonella infection, after a 12 to 72 hour incubation period, will produce symptoms including fever, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps. Those with certain risk factors, including children, the elderly, and those with suppressed immune systems are at an increased risk of developing a serious Salmonella infection. If you or a loved one begins to show the symptoms of Salmonella poisoning, contact a medical professional.

Clostridium botulinum

On September 7, 2016, Island Soups Company, Inc. issued a recall that affected several products. Products recalled by the Saint Albans, New York company include Gungo Peas Soup, Gungo Peas Soup No Meat, Red Peas Soup, Red Peas Soup No Meat, Mannish Water, and Fish Soup. Every type of soup mentioned in the recall was distributed in 16 oz. glass jars. Products subject to recall are also identifiable by a white safety seal with brown lettering. All products affected by the recall have Best Before dates between July 2015 and June 2018. These soups were sold nationwide through an online store. There have not been any reports of illness associated with this recall. Health officials have recommended that anyone with recalled products should dispose of them immediately, in order to prevent infection.

Clostridium botulinum is a bacteria that produces toxins. These toxins can cause illness or even death in humans. However, botulism is a fairly rare form of foodborne illness. Botulism spread as a foodborne illness will usually occur as a result of eating contaminated preserved foods, and canned products. A botulism infection will produce symptoms between 12 and 36 hours after exposure to the bacteria. A botulism infection will produce symptoms including fatigue, weakness, vertigo, blurred vision, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, and abdominal swelling. The disease can be fatal in 5-10% of cases. Those with certain risk factors, including the elderly, those with suppressed immune systems, and especially children are at an increased risk of developing a serious botulism infection. If you or a loved one begins to sow the symptoms of botulism, contact a medical professional.

 

Sources:

http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm519531.htm

http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm519248.htm

http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm519188.htm

http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm519169.htm

http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/wcm/connect/FSIS-Content/internet/main/topics/recalls-and-public-health-alerts/recall-case-archive/archive/2016/recall-076-2016-release