Monday, March 19, 2018

Oregon Food Bank Recalls Two Additional Items That Were Shipped with Recalled Chia Seeds

The Oregon Food Bank is recalling pumpkin seed and nutritional yeast.  This product was on the same shipment as chia seed that was recalled last week.  That product was recalled due to the presence of mice poop. 

The reason listed for these product was 'potential Listeria'.
Oregon Food Bank Voluntarily Recalls Pumpkin Seeds Because Of Possible Contamination By Listeria Species
For Immediate Release
March 17, 2018

Another Recall of Raw Beef Due to Contaminated Marinade Seasoning Mix

A second raw beef recall was issued because potentially contaminated Au Jus seasoning. SMI Holdings, Inc., doing business as Stampede Meat, Inc., a Bridgeview, Ill. establishment, is recalling approximately 484,800 pounds of beef products that may be contaminated with Salmonella. The raw beef products incorporated a non-meat ingredient, Au Jus Seasoning, which tested positive for the presence of Salmonella. Standard Meats, a TX established also recalled injected raw beef.
SMI Holdings, Inc Recalls Beef Products Due to Possible Salmonella Contamination
Class I Recall 
Health Risk: High 
Mar 16, 2018

Friday, March 16, 2018

This Week in Mislabeled Products - Week Ending 3/16/18

Mislabeled Cinnamon Rolls - A Seattle, WA firm is recalling 106 units of Gourmet Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls because it may contain undeclared Egg.  The recall was initiated after it was discovered that the some of the Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake units, which contain egg, were mislabeled as Gourmet Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls. The Gourmet Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls labels do not list Egg in the label. [Labeling mistake]

Potential Allergen Carry-over Issue in Nuts A MN  is voluntarily recalling various products roasted in their facility and sold in consumer packaging that may contain undeclared peanuts and various tree nuts.  The recall was initiated after the potential for allergen cross-contact was identified during an inspection by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. The issue was caused by a breakdown in the company's production scheduling processes.  Basically, they had carryover from product to product for every nut specific allergen - Peanuts, Almonds, Brazil Nuts, Cashews, Filberts, Macadamia Nuts, Pecans, Pistachios. [Scheduling and allergen clean out between products]

Wrong Sauce Packet - A NY retailer is recalling their Thai Sweet Chili Sauce Cup 1.5 oz. (UPC7-66630-98023) with a best-by of 7/4/18 or 7/5/18 because the product may contain undeclared egg.   The recall was initiated because an employee in one store discovered that the incorrect sauce had been packaged and labeled incorrectly. [Incorrect addition of sauce packet]

Wrong Label on Alka-Seltzer - Bayer is voluntarily recalling select Alka-Seltzer Plus® packages  because the ingredients on the front sticker may not match the actual product in the carton.

Wrong Cookies in the Cookie Bag - Chris’s Cookies has recalled one lot of its Trader Joe’s Chocolate Chip Cookie 12 Oz (340g) Bags (Barcode#: 0068 0752) after a report that Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies were discovered in a Chocolate Chip Cookie Bag, and therefore the product may contain undeclared peanuts.  The recall was initiated after it was discovered that a bag labeled as Trader Joe’s Chocolate Chip Cookies instead contained Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies. While there is a warning statement on the label that the product may contain traces of peanuts, “peanuts” is not listed as an ingredient.  [Wrong bags?]
Schwartz Brothers Bakery Issues Allergy Alert on Undeclared Egg in Gourmet Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls
For Immediate Release
March 12, 2018

Jury Verdict in Foster Farms Salmonella Case Awards Plaintiff, Recognizes Fault on Family

A jury verdict of $6.5 million in favor of a young boy who suffered brain injury due to Salmonella infection that was a part of the 2014 Foster Farms Salmonella outbreak.

Of this total of $6.5 million, only a 30% portion was assigned to Foster Farms.  "The jury attributed 30 percent of the fault to Foster Farms and 70 percent to family members for their preparation of the chicken. The net verdict for the family was $1.95 million".

While Salmonella can be naturally present on poultry, the case against Foster Farms was that they did not do a good enough job in controlling Salmonella.  In the outbreak, the issue was high levels of Salmonella in the chicken parts processing area.

Meat and Poultry
Court says Foster Farms responsible in Salmonella case
March 12, 2018 - by MEAT+POULTRY Staff

Study Analyses Consumer Decisions Involving Food Waste

A research report on consumer food waste drivers.  Food waste is often portrayed as an issue which can easily be corrected, but from the consumer's perspective, what decisions go into throwing out food?  "Some food waste analyses seem to treat household food waste as a “mistake” or careless decision; however, consumer decisions to waste also likely reflect trade-offs and economic incentives."  This study finds that "food waste is a function of consumers’ demographic characteristics, and that decisions to discard food vary with contextual factors."

In the report, some interesting points are made.
"In the case of meal leftovers, respondents were generally less likely to waste the leftovers when the meal cost was high, when there were leftovers for a whole meal, when there were no future meal plans, and when the meal was prepared at home."

"With milk, the decision to waste was heavily impacted by food safety considerations as reflected in the smell of the product. Not surprisingly, milk that smelled slightly sour was more likely to be thrown out than milk that smelled fine—signaling individuals’ aversion to consuming a product they believe could make them or their family members ill (Graham-Rowe, Jessop, and Sparks 2014; Neff, Spiker, and Truant 2015). However, a subset of consumers opted to throw out the milk even when it smelled fine. This may be due to the expiration date information given in the vignette. In all scenarios, the milk was one day past its expiration, which may have caused some consumers to throw it out regardless of sensory properties."

"[We] found that younger individuals (18–44 years) were more likely to waste food than older consumers. Interestingly, this group was more likely to waste in contexts where a decision to waste was less intuitive—when the meal was higher-priced and when the milk smelled fine."

 "[We] find that consumer segments respond differently to different decision attributes. As educational campaigns are identified as a critical solution in reducing food waste (Rethink Food Waste through Economics and Data 2016), understanding the heterogeneity in waste behaviors can enable policymakers or other advocacy groups to better target educational efforts to the households most susceptible for high levels of food waste."

One prominent factor is risk aversion regarding food safety.  Rightfully so.  People should not be made to feel they use food that is at a point where they feel the food is spoiled.  Much focus has gone into what manufacturers do to extend the life of the product, rather then teaching people to be more thoughtful in using products before they get to the point where a decision has to be made.

Wasting food may be safe, reasonable decision for some, study says
March 15, 2018 by Brian Wallheimer, Purdue University

Canada - Salmonella Outbreak Associated with Raw Breaded Chicken

The Canadian Public Health Agency announced that there have been 30 cases of Salmonella Enteritidis infection and this is being linked to raw breaded chicken breasts.  At this point, the brand name of the product has not been released.

Public Health Notice - Outbreak of Salmonella infections linked to poultry, including frozen raw breaded chicken products   
News provided by Public Health Agency of Canada
Mar 15, 2018, 16:55 ET

Raw Meat Recalled After Injected Spice Marinade Determined to Contain Salmonella

Standard Meat Company, a Saginaw, Texas establishment, is recalling up to 53,154 pounds of raw beef products that may be contaminated with Salmonella,  "The raw beef products incorporated a non-meat ingredient, Au Jus Seasoning, that was found positive for the presence of Salmonella.  The problem was discovered when Standard Meat Company was notified by their supplier, who shipped the seasoning, of a voluntary seasoning recall based on Salmonella contamination. Standard Meat Company uses this seasoning product to formulate marinade that is injected into the top sirloin steaks."

So raw beef is being recalled because the spice used had Salmonella?  Seems odd since beef may naturally have Salmonella, but a recall can be justified.  1) The spice is injected into the sirloin steaks which would put Salmonella, if present in the spice, into the interior of the meat, and as we know, people tend to think they can cook these sirloin steaks on the rare side.  2)  The meat is sold frozen, and this increases the likelihood that a person will under cook it, especially when they insufficiently thaw the meat or don't thaw it at all.
Standard Meat Company Recalls Beef Products Due to Possible Salmonella Contamination 
Class I Recall 
Health Risk: High 
Mar 15, 2018 

Jalapeno Cheddar Smoked Sausage Recalled Due to Three Complaints for Green Hard Plastic Pieces

Johnsonville, LLC, a Sheboygan Falls, Wis. establishment, is recalling approximately 109,603 pounds of smoked pork sausage products that may be contaminated with extraneous materials. The problem was discovered after the firm received three consumer complaints for pieces of hard, green plastic identified in the sausage product.  The recall is limited to one date code of the “JALAPEƑO CHEDDAR Smoked Sausage”.
Johnsonville, LLC Recalls Smoked Pork Sausage Products due to Possible Foreign Matter Contamination
Class I Recall
Health Risk: High
Mar 15, 2018

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

FDA Issues Warning for Cheese Sold at Farmers' Market Due to Listeria Potential

NY Ag issued a warning about raw goat milk cheese for potential Listeria contamination.  "A routine sample of the cheese, taken by an inspector from the Division of Milk Control and Dairy Services on February 20, 2018, was subsequently tested by the New York State Food Laboratory and discovered to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. On February 23, 2018, the manufacturer was notified of a preliminary positive test result and voluntarily recalled the product from all their customers. Test results were confirmed on March 2, 2018. The cheese will be destroyed by the manufacturer."  To date, there have been no reported illnesses.

This is not the first case of Listeria-in-cheese issue we have seen involving a small processor.  NY has had several recalls and an associated outbreak over the past year or so.  These cases should not incriminate all small cheese makers, however a trend of issues can be a drag on the entire industry sector.  Therefore it behooves the industry to rise above the regulations rather then bemoan them.  We need to do more than applaud small business, but recognize that there is risk and with that, the need for mitigation strategies, independent of the size of company.  This includes strict sanitation practices and verification including monitoring.  The excuse for inaction that these are 'just a small local producers' does no good when we find a owner with the best of intentions suddenly out of business, in court, with product responsible for someone's illness.
Consumer Alert:  Listeria  Contamination In Maiden’s Creamery Wild Meadow Raw Goat Milk Cheese
For Immediate Release
March 12, 2018