By: James Peacock

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) have issued a variety of recalls this week. The reasons for these recalls range from food allergens to food contamination, as well as foods lacking proper inspections. Below is a breakdown of what has been recalled this week.

Allergens

                Eggs

On June 27, a recall for fish tofu and fish balls was initiated because they may contain an undeclared allergen – eggs. Fish tofu, fried fish balls, and white fish balls are affected by the recall. Global Lamsheng Kee Inc. issued the recall after egg was discovered in the product. The three frozen products recalled by the Brooklyn, New York company were distributed to retail stores in New York, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Texas, Michigan, and North Carolina. The products are no longer being produced, and production will not resume until the problem has been corrected. A list of products and identifying information can be found in the chart below. No illnesses have been linked to the recall.

Product Name Net Weight UPC Code
Lam Sheng Kee Frozen Fish Tofu 240 g (8.5 OZ) 4712757550542
Lam Sheng Kee Frozen Fried Fish Ball 227 g (8 OZ) 4712757550535
Lam Sheng Kee Frozen White Fish Ball 910 g (32.1 OZ) 9555123702252

 

Fish and Dairy

Dierbergs, a company based in St. Louis, Missouri, has issued a recall for several different products. Four of the products were recalled because of a potential undeclared fish contamination, and two were recalled because of dairy. The undeclared fish recalls were caused by anchovies in a Caesar salad dressing. These recalled products were distributed to Dierbergs Markets locations in eastern Missouri, central Missouri, and western Illinois. All affected products have been removed from retail shelves, and the production of these products has been suspended until the labeling issues have been corrected. No other Dierbergs Markets products have been recalled. All recalled products are listed in the table below, as well as any identifying information. No adverse reactions have been reported in relation to this recall.

Product Name Weight/Count Undeclared Allergen Use-By-Date
Grilled Chicken Caesar Wrap 10 OZ Fish 7/2/17 and earlier
Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad 14 OZ Fish 7/1/17 and earlier
Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad 8.5 OZ Fish 7/1/17 and earlier
Classic Pinwheel Appetizer Wrap Platter 12 count Fish 7/2/17 and earlier
Santa Fe Grilled Chicken Wrap 11 OZ Dairy 7/2/17 and earlier
Santa Fe Grilled Veggie Wrap 12 OZ Dairy 7/2/17 and earlier

 

Tuna, Instead of Chicken

A recall was issued on July 1 by Willow Tree Poultry Farm for chicken salad products. The Attleboro, Massachusetts establishment recalled about 440 pounds of products after it became apparent that the items were actually tuna salad, even though the label listed the products as chicken salad. The 12.5-ounce plastic containers of “Buffalo Style Chicken Salad” were shipped to Whole Foods Markets in Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York. The recall was caused by Whole Foods employees, who noticed the mislabeling while unpacking the products.  Recalled products are marked with the establishment number “P-8827” in the USDA mark of inspection. Health officials have urged the public not to consume the recalled products, and to dispose of them immediately. There have not been any allergic reactions linked to this recall.

 

Allergen Contamination is Dangerous

Allergen contamination is slightly different than foodborne illness pathogens but is no less dangerous. Rather than causing a bout of illness, exposure to allergens will trigger an allergic reaction. Allergies can be caused by anything from animals and dust to food and medicine. While nearly anything can potentially cause a food allergy, health officials often classify the “Big 8” allergens as eggs, fish, milk, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, and wheat. Different people will often have different allergies, and the severity of the reaction will depend on the person. The effects of an allergic reaction can range from a rash to deadly pulmonary issues. Common symptoms of an allergic reaction include: difficulty swallowing, shortness of breath, itchiness, and cramps. More severe allergic reactions will sometimes develop into Anaphylaxis, a potentially life-threatening complication. Many people with severe allergies may carry an Epi-pen with them. This concentrated shot of epinephrine will help counteract some of the symptoms of Anaphylaxis, but it is only temporary. It is important to us an Epi-pen as quickly as possible after an anaphylactic allergic reaction takes place. If an Epi-pen is needed, the next thing to do is to get the affected person to a hospital immediately. Instructions for how to use an Epi-pen can be found here.

 

E. coli Contamination in Canada

In a continuation of a long chain of recalls caused by an outbreak of E. coli poisoning in Canada, pie and tart shells have been recalled by Canadian officials. The recall was first issued on June 27 but was expanded on June 29. All products affected by the updated recall can be found in the table below. This recall is now the 17th recall to be caused by E. coli contaminated flour. These recalls first began in late March, and have continued to the present. Many products have been recalled in Canada, and one recall has affected products sold in the United States. While illnesses have been connected to the flour that originally caused these recalls, no illnesses have been connected to this specific recall. As contained in the table below, along with all other identifying information, the products being recalled were distributed to various locations in Ontario.

Brand Name Product Size Dates Sold UPC Location
Apple Valley Tart Shells None 12/30/2016 to 4/26/2017 None Anna Mae’s Bakery & Restaurant, Millbank Ontario
Apple Valley Unbaked 9” frozen Pie Shell 340 g 2/16/2016 to 4/27/2017 None Cloverleaf Farms Food Outlet & Deli, New Hamburg, Ontario
Cloverleaf Farms Food Outlet & Deli 3” Unbaked Sweet Tart Shells 30 Tarts/General Mills Canada 610 g 12/22/2016 to 2/28/2017 None Cloverleaf Farms Food Outlet & Deli, New Hamburg, Ontario
None 3” Unsweetened Tart Shells 30 shells 12/20/2016 to 4/27/2017 None Zehr’s County Market, Bayfield, Ontario
Remark Fresh Markets 2” Tart Shells 200 g 1/19/2017 to 6/27/2017 0 250542 602990 Remark Fresh Markets, Windsor, Ontario
Schmidt’s Bulk Pantry 2 inch Tart Shells Variable 4/6/2017 to 4/27/2017 None Schmidt’s Bulk Pantry & Homestyle Baking, Wellesley, Ontario
Schmidt’s Bulk Pantry 3 inch Tart Shells Variable 1/5/2017 to 4/27/2017 None Schmidt’s Bulk Pantry & Homestyle Baking, Wellesley, Ontario
Schmidt’s Bulk Pantry 9 inch Pie shells x2 2 shells 2/23/2017 to 4/27/2017 None Schmidt’s Bulk Pantry & Homestyle Baking, Wellesley, Ontario
Schmidt’s Bulk Pantry 9 inch Pie shells x12 12 shells 2/23/2017 to 4/27/2017 None Schmidt’s Bulk Pantry & Homestyle Baking, Wellesley, Ontario
Wallenstein General Store Inc. Tart Shells Unsweetened 30/3 30 shells 1/5/2017 to 4/27/2017 2 004020 005999 Wallenstein General Store Inc., Wallenstein, Ontario
Wallenstein General Store Inc. Tart Shells Unsweetened 18/4 18 shells 1/26/2017 to 4/27/2017 2 004030 006993 Wallenstein General Store Inc., Wallenstein, Ontario

 

E. coli Infections

E. coli infections are one of the most common forms of foodborne illness in the Unites States. There are many different types of E. coli bacteria, and some strains of the bacteria will be referred to as E. coli (STEC). The CDC estimates that there are around 265,000 cases of E. coli poisoning each year in the United States. Only a small amount of E. coli bacteria is necessary to cause an infection. Symptoms of E. coli poisoning will usually occur between 3 and 4 days after exposure, but E. coli infections can begin to cause symptoms anywhere between 1 and 9 days after exposure. Symptoms of an E. coli infection will typically include: severe cramping, vomiting, nausea, and watery or bloody diarrhea. There is sometimes a low-grade fever associated with the infection as well. These symptoms will, most of the time, go away on their own after about a week but can last longer. There are a couple of complications associated with an E. coli infection. Diarrhea can cause dehydration, which can be very serious if left untreated. E. coli infections can also cause a rare but potentially fatal complication called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which occurs in about 3 to 7 percent of E. coli cases. HUS damages red blood cells, which are then sent to the kidneys in order to be filtered out. The damage from the filtration process, coupled with the increased rate of damage inflicted on the kidneys by Shiga toxins, can lead to serious kidney damage and even kidney failure. If a case of E. coli poisoning has progressed to HUS, symptoms such as decreased frequency in urination, fatigue, and loss of color in the eyes and cheeks will be present. HUS is a very serious complication that needs to be treated as quickly as possible. If you or a loved one begins to show the symptoms of E. coli poisoning, contact a medical professional.

 

Import Requirements

On June 28, Vinh Hoan USA, Inc. issued a recall for frozen swai fillet products. They were distributed in the United States without going through the proper inspection process. About 84,000 pounds of swai imported from Vietnam have been recalled. Three different lots of Mekong Master Frozen Swai Fillet are being recalled. Lot code VN 147 VI 1355 has three different Best Before dates under recall, including 12162018, 12172018, and 12192018. The second lot code, VN 147 VI 1351, has the “Best Before” dates of 12232018, 12242018, and 12252018 being recalled. The third recalled lot, VN 147 VI 1354, has the Best Before dates of 01052019, 01062019, and 01072019. None of the recalled products have been labeled with a USDA mark of inspection. Recalled items were shipped to wholesale locations in Wisconsin, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, and Minnesota. There have not been any adverse reactions reported because of these fillets, and consumers are urged to dispose of any recalled products to prevent potential infections or reactions.

 

Sources:

https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/recalls-and-public-health-alerts/recall-case-archive/archive/2017/recall-079-2017-release

https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/recalls-and-public-health-alerts/recall-case-archive/archive/2017/recall-080-2017-release

https://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm565492.htm

https://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm564767.htm

http://www.inspection.gc.ca/about-the-cfia/newsroom/food-recall-warnings/complete-listing/2017-06-29/eng/1498767439530/1498767443513