Thursday, June 23, 2016

Bolthouse Farms Recalls Protein Drinks Due to Spoilage Issues

Bolthouse Foods is recalling 3.8 million bottles of their protein drinks after spoilage issues occurred in the field.  The issue came to the company's attention through consumer complaints including illnesses.

FDA Recall Notice
Bolthouse Farms Voluntarily Recalls Protein Beverages Due to Possible Spoilage
For Immediate Release
June 22, 2016

Consumers Bolthouse Farms  1-866-535-3774
Media Lauren Castillon (310) 857-3410

View Product Photos

Bolthouse Farms is voluntarily recalling a selection of protein drinks due to possible spoilage that may cause the beverages to appear lumpy, taste unpleasant and have an off odor.

These products should not be consumed. The issue was identified after the company received consumer complaints, including reports of illness. The cause of this issue is currently under investigation.

The recall includes Protein PLUS shakes with 'best by' dates between 6/20/16 to 9/18/16:

PRODUCT DESCRIPTIONUPC CODEProtein PLUS Chocolate 325ml/11 oz 0-71464-01868-9
Protein PLUS Chocolate 450ml/15.2 oz 0-71464-30650-2
Protein PLUS Chocolate 946ml/32oz 0-71464-30651-9
Protein PLUS Vanilla Bean 325ml / 11 oz 0-71464-01867-2
Protein PLUS Vanilla Bean 15.2 oz 0-71464-01639-5
Protein PLUS Vanilla Bean 32 oz 0-71464-01640-1
Protein PLUS Coffee 325ml / 11 oz 0-71464-01869-6
Protein PLUS Coffee 450ml/15.2 oz 0-71464-01627-2
Protein PLUS Coffee 946ml/32oz 0-71464-01628-9
Protein PLUS Coconut 450ml/15.2 oz 0-71464-01892-4
Protein PLUS Strawberry 450ml/15.2 oz 0-71464-01890-0
Protein PLUS Strawberry 946ml/32oz 0-71464-01891-7
Protein PLUS Banana Honey Almond Butter 325ml/11 oz 0-71464-01918-1
Protein PLUS Banana Honey Almond Butter 450ml/15.2 oz 0-71464-01893-1

The recall also affects the following Mocha Cappuccino products.

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION DATE CODEUPC CODEMocha Cappuccino Perfectly Protein 450ml/15.2oz Best by: 9/2/16 0-71464-30051-7
Mocha Cappuccino Perfectly Protein 946ml/32oz Best by: 8/2/16 and 8/3/16 0-71464-30050-0

The best by dates are printed on the cap and label at the neck of the bottle and the UPC appears on the bar code.

The recall affects 3.8 million bottles that have been distributed nationally in the United States.

Bolthouse Farms is advising people not to drink these beverages and return them to the store where purchased for a full refund. For more information call 1-866-535-3774 between 6:00am to 7:00pm PST, Monday to Friday or visit Facebook/BolthouseFarms.

Bolthouse Farms apologizes for the inconvenience.

About Wm. Bolthouse Farms, Inc.
Bolthouse Farms, founded in 1915 and headquartered in California's San Joaquin Valley, is known for high-quality consumer brands and innovative products. A market share leader in growing and distributing carrots, Bolthouse Farms produces and sells super-premium juices, smoothies, protein shakes and cafĂ© beverages under the Bolthouse Farms® brand name. In recent years, Bolthouse Farms diversified its offerings by launching a line of premium refrigerated yogurt dressings and in August 2014, the Company launched their new Bolthouse Farms Kids platform, nutritious kids snack options. In March 2015, the Company launched 1915 Bolthouse Farms™, their new brand of organic ultra-premium cold-pressed juice. The Bolthouse Farms mission is to Inspire the Fresh Revolution by changing the way people consume fruits and veggies. The company was acquired by Campbell Soup Company on Aug. 6, 2012. To learn more about the 100 years of the company's farm heritage, mission and the entire line of current products, visit and join our community on Facebook at and Twitter @BolthouseFarms.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

More Recalls Announced for Listeria Contamination Potential in Frozen Peas

Dutch Treat of Michigan is recalling its Sweet Pea Pasta Salad, Pinnacle and JR Simplot are recalling frozen peas.  All are linked to the National Frozen Foods Recall of frozen peas for Listeria.
Dutch Treat Foods Recalls Sweet Pea Pasta Salad Because of Potential Health Risk
For Immediate Release
June 21, 2016

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Protein Drink Recalled Due to Premature Spoilage

HP Hood is recalling 14oz plastic bottles of Muscle Milk due to premature product spoilage.  A packaging defect may be responsible.

FDA News Release
HP Hood LLC Voluntarily Recalls Protein Drinks From Its Sacramento Facility Due To Premature Spoilage
For Immediate Release
June 17, 2016

Monday, June 20, 2016

Employee Faces Charges for Tampering After Company Recalls Product for Foreign Matter

A Minnesota firm is recalling 55,000 pounds of product for foreign material and announces that a company employee has been fired for product tampering.  The material, verified to be soil and sand, was found in some of the products.

Meating Place
GNP recalls chicken tampered with foreign matter, fires employee

School Lunch Provider Recalling Sandwich Items After Positive Listeria Environmental Samples

A California foodservice provider, one that specializes in providing school lunches, is recalling sandwich products after FDA  environmental sampling found Listeria monocytogenes on multiple food contact surfaces,  The products were distributed nationwide but it is unlikely that any of the school districts still have product.

A few things that are icky about this:
1) A place making packaged sandwiches for kids in LA and shipping them nationally.  You would think that someone locally could make sandwiches.  They would probably be fresher.  I wonder what kind of shelf-life they have on this product.
2) A facility making sandwiches for kids does not have a solid food safety program.  Perhaps better stated....they had a bad food safety program because FDA found multiple LM positive food contact surfaces.  Seriously, that is nasty.
3) It is unlikely that these products would be reheated sufficiently, if at all, to destroy the pathogen.

FDA Recall Notice
Let's Do Lunch, Inc., dba Integrated Food Service, Voluntarily Recalls Certain Ready-To-Eat Sandwiches Because Of Possible Health Risk

Frozen Peas Recalled Due to Listeria Positive Test Result

A Washington state frozen food company is recalling frozen peas and blends of frozen vegetables that include peas after testing found the product may be contaminated with Listeria.  There have been no reported illnesses.

This recall affects a number of private label brands including those sold through Walmart (Great Value) and Target (Market Pantry).

New York based HelloFresh is also recalling product with peas.  HelloFresh is a mail order company that sends food kits to people for in-home food preparation.   Being that this company direct ships to their customer, making direct contact with those individuals should be easy.

Peas are normally blanched before freezing, and so the Listeria contamination most likely occurred someplace between blanching and packaging.  While frozen peas are normally cooked by the consumer before eating, which if done according to validated cooking instructions posted on the package, would eliminate the pathogen.    However, many use peas as a ready-to-eat ingredient in salads and dips, so in those cases, Listeria could be present.  There is, also a chance that people would not heat the peas sufficiently.

That is the case with associated recalls for product sold through Whole Foods where Green Cuisine is initiating a voluntary recall of “Pesto Pasta Salad with Arugula”.  Another company is recalling wraps because the peas were used.   And then a Portand Oregon company is recalling Macaroni Salad made with peas.  What supplier arrangement was in place...did the manufacturer agree on the use of this product as an ingredient in RTE food.

Allowing the frozen peas to thaw and then sit at refrigerated temperatures (or higher) for a number of days could allow the Listeria, if present, to increase in number.  This could be an issue with mail order products such as those delivered through HelloFresh.

FDA Recall Notice
National Frozen Foods Corporation Recalls Frozen Green Peas and Frozen Mixed Vegetables Because of Possible Health Risk

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Whole Foods Takes Warning Letter on the Chin for February Inspection

FDA issued a warning letter on June 8, 2016 to Whole Foods for an inspection completed back in February.  While Whole Foods responded to the inspection findings in March, the Warning was issued this week (June 8th), because FDA did not find the response acceptable.
"We do not consider your response acceptable because you failed to provide documentation for our review, which demonstrates that all your noted corrective actions have been effectively implemented. This documentation may include photographs, invoices, work orders, voluntary destruction records of any affected products, certification of actions performed by contractors, and/or any other useful information that would assist us in evaluating your corrections."

The initial inspection found a number of issues, nothing overly serious. but mostly what could be considered sloppy procedures.  This included multiple condensation issues, improper sanitation procedures with instances where too high a sanitizer concentration was used, potential cross contamination issues, inadequate handwashing water temperatures, and improperly marked sanitizing agents.  Environmental sampling of 100 samples was negative for Listeria monocytogenes, but one sample was positive for a non-pathogenic species of Listeria.

Clearly some bad vibes going on between the agency and the plant.  If issues were so bad, why did a follow-up inspection not occur, or why wasn't this letter issued in March?  A lot to take away from this.

  • Tighten up procedures now rather than having an agency inspector tell you.  Inspections are rarely perfect, but the number of issues seen here show a lack of attention to detail.
  • Ensure corrective actions to inspection reports are completed as soon as possible.Those corrective actions must be detailed / documented to cover each and every element addressed in the inspection and be able to demonstrate that the risk issues have been adequately  addressed .  Overkill in documentation support was needed here rather than glossing over.  

Boston Globe
FDA inspectors find evidence of Listeria at Whole Foods kitchen
By Megan Woolhouse Globe Staff June 14, 2016