By: James Peacock

Every week, we take a look at major recalls that have taken place. These recalls, whether they are issued by the Food and Drug Administration, the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, a state or local health department, or the company itself, help to keep contaminated food from entering the homes of consumers. The recall process is the best way to prevent foodborne illness outbreaks, and consumers should keep track of various recalls to avoid eating potentially contaminated foods. Recalls from this week were caused by Listeria monocytogenes, misbranding, improper packaging, and other reasons. A wide range of foods was recalled.

Listeria monocytogenes

On July 18, Garden of Light, Inc. issued a voluntary recall for Woodstock Organic Matcha Vanilla Oats. The oats were produced by Garden of Light for Blue Marble Brands, but there is the potential that the products might be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes bacteria. The recall was issued after Garden of Light was notified by one of their ingredient suppliers, Hudson Valley Farms, about the contamination. Hudson Valley Farms products have caused other recalls in recent memory, including cashews and protein bars. The recalled oat products were packaged in 1.8-ounce paperboard cups with green lids. Recalled products are labeled with the UPC code 0-42563-01786-6 and the Best by Date of “SELL BY MAY 11 2018.” There was a second lot of products included with the recall, but they were stopped prior to being distributed for sale. The Matcha Vanilla Oat cups were distributed to retail stores nationwide. Production of the oats has been halted while the problem is sorted out. No illnesses have been linked to this recall.

Bhu Foods was notified by their supplier last week that one of the ingredients in the protein bars, sunflower seeds, has been recalled. This notification led to the announcement of a recall affecting nine different products. Bhu Foods produced these protein bars between May 9 and June 9, 2017. The San Diego-based company sent the bars to retail locations across the country, and have since notified these retailers. There are no other Bhu Foods products being recalled, and a list of the recalled products, along with identifying information, can be found in the table below. No illnesses have been reported in relation to this recall.

Product Flavor Lot Code
Organic Vegan Protein Chocolate + Tart Cherry + Pistachio 13717
Organic Vegan Protein Apple Chunk + Cinnamon + Nutmeg 13717
Organic Vegan Protein Peanut Butter + Chocolate Chip 13917
Organic Vegan Protein Superfood Chocolate Chip + Fudge Brownie Batter 13817
15417
Organic Vegan Protein Peanut Butter + White Chocolate 15317
15417
Grass Fed Whey Protein Dark Chocolate + Coconut + Almond (Made with Organic Ingredients) 13917
Grass Fed Whey Protein Salted Caramel + Pecan (Made with Organic Ingredients) 13017
13817
Grass Fed Whey Protein Vanilla + Almond + Cashew (Made with Organic Ingredients) 13017
13817
Paleo Protein Double Dark Chocolate Chip (Made with Organic Ingredients) 13117
14017
14317

Listeria is one of the less common forms of food poisoning, but is still a very dangerous pathogen. The CDC estimates that the bacterium causes about 1600 cases of illness per year. Nearly everyone who is sickened by Listeria bacteria is hospitalized. Listeria poisoning can manifest itself in one of two forms. In those with healthy immune systems, Listeria presents itself as a gastrointestinal illness, causing symptoms such as fever, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. In some cases though, and especially in the elderly and immunocompromised, Listeria can become invasive, causing headaches, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and convulsions. Invasive Listeria is potentially fatal, as it can enter the nervous system and cause meningitis. Pregnant women are also at an increased risk of developing a serious case of Listeria poisoning. Listeria monocytogenes may cause a flu-like infection in pregnant women but can lead to miscarriages and stillbirths. The CDC also warns that pregnant women are 10 times more likely to get a Listeria infection, putting them at a greater risk.  The symptoms of a Listeria infection can appear anywhere between 3 and 70 days after the Listeria bacteria are ingested. If you or a loved one begins to show the symptoms of Listeria poisoning, contact a medical professional.

Misbranding

On July 20, 2017, the Cesina Sausage Company issued a recall for some of their pork sausage products. The products were mislabeled. Although the label declares that the sausage products are ready to eat, they are actually not. Because this misbranding can potentially lead to a foodborne illness, it was decided that a recall should be done. The recalled pork was produced on June 22, 2017, and was distributed to a Giant Eagle grocery store location in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania. The products were distributed in one-pound vacuum-sealed packages and have the establishment number “EST 5073” inside the USDA mark of inspection. There have not been any reports of adverse reactions to the recalled products.

Defective Packaging

On July 22, 2017, several different products were recalled by Bush Brothers & Company. Three varieties of baked beans, including Brown Sugar Hickory Baked Beans, Country Style Baked Beans, and Original Baked Beans were all recalled because of issues with the seams of the cans they were packaged in. The 28-ounce cans were distributed to retail locations nationwide. While there have not been any reports of illness, the released announcement highlights the importance of disposing of recalled products regardless of if they smell or look spoiled or not. A full list of recalled products and other identifying information can be found in the table below.

Product Case UPC Case Lot Code Container UPC Container Lot Code
28 OZ Bush’s Best Brown Sugar Hickory 00394001977 Bush’s Baked Bean (HIC) 001977 12-28 OZ 6097V Best By June 2019 00039400019770 6097S GF

6097P GF

Best By JUN 2019

28 OZ Bush’s Best Country Style 003940091974

AND

003940001974

Bush’s Baked Bean (CST) 001974 12-28 OZ 6077V AND 6087V Best By June 2019 00039400019749 6077S RR

6087S RR

6077P RR

6087P RR

Best By JUN 2019

28 OZ Bush’s Best Original 003940091614

AND
003940001614

Bush’s Baked Bean (ORG) 001614 12-28 OZ 6077V Best By June 2019 00039400016144 6057S LC

6057P LC

Best By JUN 2019

 

Sources:

https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/recalls-and-public-health-alerts/recall-case-archive/archive/2017/recall-083-2017-release

https://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm567410.htm?source=govdelivery&utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery

https://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm568096.htm?source=govdelivery&utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery