By:  Jory D. Lange, Jr.

On March 28, 2017, Nutiva recalled its “Organic Plant Based Protein Superfood 30 Shake – Vanilla Flavor” because it may contain peanuts.  According to Nutiva’s recall notice, posted with the FDA, “People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to peanuts run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume this product.”  You can read Nutiva’s complete recall notice here.

Which Products Are Recalled?

In its recall notice, Nutiva advises: “Consumers who have purchased these items and have an allergy or severe sensitivity to peanuts are urged to not eat the product, and to dispose of it or return it to where it was originally purchased. Nutiva has taken these steps strictly as a precautionary measure to assure our customers of our commitment to quality. No other Nutiva items are impacted by this recall.”

 

  • Nutiva’s Organic Plant Based Protein Superfood 30 Shake – Vanilla, Product Number PBP201, packaged in 10 – 1.2 oz. (34g) packets, Unit UPC 6-92752-10717-7, Master Case UPC 6-92752-10718-4, Lot Code 20SEP2016I, Expiration Date 20 SEP 2018.
  • Nutiva’s Organic Plant Based Protein Superfood 30 Shake – Vanilla, packaged in 21.6 oz. HDPE Jars, Product Number PBP205, Unit UPC 6-92752-10711-5, Master Case UPC 6-92752-10712-2, Lot Code 26SEP2016I, Expiration Date 26 SEP 2018.
  • Nutiva’s Organic Plant Based Protein Superfood 30 Shake – Vanilla, Product Number PBP205, packaged in 21.1 oz. HDPE Jars, Unit UPC 6-92752-10711-5, Master Case UPC 6-92752-10712-2, Lot Code 27SEP2016I, Expiration Date 27 SEP 2018.

Nutiva sold these products through distributors located in California, Colorado, Florida, New Hampshire, Oregon, and Texas, and online.  To find a list of some Nutiva retailers by city or zip code, click here to visit Nutiva’s website.  Photographs of the recalled products and their packaging are available here.

About Nutiva

Nutiva is based in Richmond, California.  Opened in 1999, the company prides itself on its production of plant-based organic foods containing coconut, hemp, chia and red palm. You can learn more about Nutiva and Nutiva’s products on their website.

About Food Allergies

FoodAllergy.org reports that “[i]n the U.S., eight foods account for the majority of food allergy reactions. Those foods are peanuts, tree nuts, milk, egg, soy, wheat, fish, and shellfish.” Peanut allergies are one of the most common causes of severe allergy attacks from food.  Peanut allergies can cause anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction.  In America, peanut allergies are the most common reason for food-induced anaphylaxis. For some people, even tiny amounts of peanuts can cause a serious allergic reaction.  According to the Mayo Clinic, some signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction to peanuts can include:

  • “Runny nose;”
  • “Skin reactions, such as hives, redness or swelling;”
  • “Itching or tingling in or around the mouth and throat;”
  • “Digestive problems, such as diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea or vomiting;”
  • “Tightening of the throat;” and
  • “Shortness of breath or wheezing.”

Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency which the Mayo Clinic states “requires treatment with an epinephrine (adrenaline) injector (EpiPen, Auvi-Q, Twinject) and a trip to the emergency room.”  Anaphylaxis can affect several parts of the body, not just face or tongue swelling that people typically associate with it.

According to the Mayo Clinic, some signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis can include:

  • “Constriction of airways;”
  • “Swelling of the throat that makes it difficult to breathe;”
  • “A severe drop in blood pressure (shock);”
  • “Rapid pulse;” and
  • “Dizziness, lightheadedness or loss of consciousness.”

The Mayo Clinic recommends that people talk to their doctor if they have experienced any peanut allergy symptoms, even if they were only mild in nature. The Mayo Clinic advises that allergies can develop at any point in someone’s life, and in some cases, can reappear long after they have remitted. This is another reason why it is a good idea to talk to your doctor about your symptoms. If a person has a severe reaction to peanuts¾especially if a person is exhibiting any anaphylaxis symptoms¾the Mayo Clinic urges them to seek emergency medical treatment.  In such instances, the May Clinic advises that people “Call 911 or your local emergency number if you or someone else displays severe dizziness, severe trouble breathing or loss of consciousness.” 

The CDC reports that an estimated 4% – 6% of American children have food allergies.  According to the CDC, “Allergic reactions can be life threatening and have far-reaching effects on children and their families, as well as on the schools or early care and education (ECE) programs they attend.”  The CDC has provided a list of some of the symptoms of food allergies to watch for in children:

  • “It feels like something is poking my tongue.”
  • “My tongue (or mouth) is tingling (or burning).”
  • “My tongue (or mouth) itches.”
  • “My tongue feels like there is hair on it.”
  • “My mouth feels funny.”
  • “There’s a frog in my throat; there’s something stuck in my throat.”
  • “My tongue feels full (or heavy).”
  • “My lips feel tight.”
  • “It feels like there are bugs in there (to describe itchy ears).”
  • “It (my throat) feels thick.”
  • “It feels like a bump is on the back of my tongue (throat).”

The CDC notes that, “The symptoms and severity of allergic reactions to food can be different between individuals, and can also be different for one person over time. Anaphylaxis is a sudden and severe allergic reaction that may cause death. Not all allergic reactions will develop into anaphylaxis.”

How to Report Foodborne Illness

Unfortunately, most foodborne illnesses in the United States go unreported. Illnesses or reactions to foods based on allergies are among these underreported cases. State and local health agencies strongly urge patients diagnosed with food poisoning or a severe allergic reaction to foods without proper labeling to report their cases.  As one state public health agency puts it, “Reporting cases of known or suspected infectious diseases to public health authorities in Maryland serves to protect the public’s health by ensuring the proper identification and follow-up of cases.  Public health workers at both local and state levels follow individual cases to ensure proper treatment, identify potential sources of infection, provide education to reduce the risk of transmission, identify susceptible contacts, and take other measures aimed at reducing the spread of disease.  Analysis of data across all cases helps to monitor the impact of those conditions, measure trends, identify areas of risk, detect outbreaks, monitor control efforts, and allocate resources effectively.”  To make it easier to report instances of serious foodborne illness in your state, UnsafeFoods.com has compiled a fifty state list of health departments and their contact information.