Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Canada - Company Recalls Chicken Burgers After being Linked to Salmonella Outbreak

In Canada, breaded chicken patties and cutlets are being recalled after being linked to an outbreak of Salmonella.  The product is uncooked, and that is clearly stated on the label.  BUT there is nothing stated about checking the internal temperature of the product.

The cooking instructions (taken from the company's website) state"
Cook from frozen.
OVEN: Bake in a preheated oven at 425°F (218°C) oven for 10 minutes, flip, then cook for 10 to 12 more minutes.
Considering this is a raw product, we know that consumers can screw this up.  Is the oven temperature correct?  Did they start timing when the over was actually at 425F?  Did they cut the time off a little?

Now Tyson Chicken Patties also have the cooking instructions that are similar,  BUT, these products are stated as being fully cooked.
Conventional Oven
1.  Preheat oven to 400°F.
2.  Place frozen chicken patties on baking sheet.
3.  Heat 17 to 20 minutes.
The other issue is calling these things chicken burgers rather than chicken patties considering that they are breaded.

CBC News - Canada
2 Janes chicken products recalled due to salmonella
Investigation linked to 13 cases of illness

By Kevin Yarr, CBC News
Posted: Oct 18, 2017 6:58 AM AT| Last Updated: Oct 18, 2017 2:41 PM AT

Canada - Mechanically Tenderized Beef Recalled Due to E. coli STEC Contamination

A Canadian firm is recalling mechanically tenderized beef due to E. coli O157:H7.  The contamination was found by the company.

It is interesting to note that the safe cooking instructions posted on the Canadian product only requests that the consumer cook the product to 145F (CFIA).   In the United States, USDA requires safe handling instructions for mechanically tenderized beef that state the product be cooked to 145F with a 3 minute rest (USDA) while the US Food Code requires 155F for 15 seconds for food service.

Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Food Recall Warning - Mechanically Tenderized Steak recalled due to E. coli O157:H7
 Recall date:October 17, 2017 
Reason for recall:Microbiological - E. coli O157:H7 
Hazard classification:Class 1 
Company / Firm:Vantage Foods (ON) Inc. 
Extent of the distribution:Retail   

Supermarket Chain Recalls Chili and Soup Items due to the Potential for Foreign Material Contamination - Hard Plastic

A Wisconsin retailer is recalling over 16,000 lbs of ready-to-eat (RTE) chili and soup items due to potential foreign material contamination, specifically hard plastic.  The issue was discovered by the company's food safety team

USDA / FSIS News Release
Roundy's Supermarkets, Inc., Recalls Chili and Soup Products Due To Possible Foreign Matter Contamination
Class I Recall 
Health Risk: High 
Oct 17, 2017

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Man Arrested for Intentional Contamination of Grocery Store Produce with Feces-Smelling Substance

In North Carolina, a man was arrested after he sprayed a feces-smelling brown liquid on grocery store produce.  "According to Harris Teeter officials, the suspect attempted to contaminate food in the produce department and the fresh foods department. Store officials say associates immediately took action and closed down the affected departments and notified supervisors."  The man is said to be a disgruntled contractor who was saying that the store owed him money.

CBS 5 Charleston
Bond set for contractor accused of contaminating produce at W. Ashley Harris Teeter
Published:Sunday, October 15th 2017, 3:59 pm EDT
Updated:Monday, October 16th 2017, 7:44 pm EDT
By Ray Rivera, Digital Producer
By Harve Jacobs, Reporter

Monday, October 16, 2017

Jars of Tarragon Spice Recalled After Positive Salmonella Test

A California spice company is recalling 0.4oz jars of tarragon spice after testing found the raw material was positive for Salmonella. 

FDA Recall Notice
Spicely Organics Recalls Organic Tarragon Because Of Possible Health Risk
For Immediate Release
October 16, 2017

Nut Butter Recalled in March for E. coli Contamination Still in Marketplace

FDA issued a news release to remind the public and retailers that the I.M. Healthy Soy Nut Butter Products have been recalled and must not be available for sale.  These products were recalled back in March after being linked to a dozen cases of E. coli O157:H7 infection.  The problem is that these products are still being sold, both online and in retail stores.  The packer was suspended.

The occurrence of recalled product, and dangerous product at that, still being in the marketplace shows the difficulty of recall compliance in smaller retailers and online venues where niche product like this is likely to sell.

FDA Outbreak Notice
FDA Reminds Public that All I.M. Healthy Soy Nut Butter Products Are Recalled
October 13, 2017

Vermont Meat Processor Recalls Ground Beef After 2 Cases of E. coli Infection

A Vermont meat processing facility is recalling ground beef product after 2 people became ill with E. coli O157:H7.

From the Recall Notice:
"On September 30, 2017, FSIS was notified of an investigation of E. coli O157:H7 illnesses. Working in conjunction with the Vermont Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, FSIS determined the cooked beef burgers that were served at an event at Bread & Butter Farm was the probable source of the reported illnesses. Based on the epidemiological investigation, two case-patients were identified in Vermont with illness onset dates ranging from September 18, 2017, to September 23, 2017. Traceback information indicated that both case-patients consumed ground beef products at Bread & Butter Farm which was supplied by Vermont Livestock Slaughter & Processing"

Vermont Livestock Slaughter And Processing LLC, Recalls Ground Beef Due To Possible E. Coli O157:H7 Contamination
Class I Recall 
Health Risk: High 
Oct 13, 2017

NY Establishment Recalling Luncheon Meats Due to Foreign Material - Aluminum

A NY establishment is "recalling approximately 22,630 pounds of ready-to-eat (RTE) Genoa Salami and Capocollo products that may have been contaminated with foreign matter, specifically aluminum.   The problem was discovered when the company notified FSIS of an incident where an aluminum clip was found in the product shipped to a retailer. The issues were found during preparation and slicing of product at the retail level."
Battistoni Italian Specialty Meats, LLC, Recalls Salami and Capocollo Products Due To Possible Foreign Matter Contamination
Class II Recall 
Health Risk: Low 
Oct 13, 2017

Warning Letter Issued to Bean Manufacturer for Inadequately Handling Can Seam Issue

Bush Beans was issued a warning letter related to how they handled a can seam issue this past summer.  Although a recall was conducted, FDA cited the plant for not notifying FDA of the issue, minimizing the issue even though a container failure issue could be danger to the public, and failing to take appropriate action regarding in-process rejects.  The issue was that the firm did not take appropriate action to a supplier related can seam issue. Can seam issues for low acid canned foods can result in serious issues such as the potential for Clostridium botulinum.

The warning letter specified two major items:
1.  Failed to promptly report to FDA any instance of spoilage or potential public health significance where any such lot of food had in whole or in part entered distribution, by distributing bean products after a side seam defect was identified by plant personnel and confirmed by the can manufacturer.  The issue was identified as a weld adhesion failure on the side seams.  The company only considered a market withdrawal for cans manufactured on one day identified as having the most can seam defects, but other dates were involved. "The explanation provided to the FDA Investigators was that your Quality Assurance Department identified this as a food quality issue and not a food safety issue."  Additionally, the firm did not conduct any microbiological tests on the questionable lots at the time of the inspection, and, was not able to give assurance that those products would pose no significant health risks to consumers due to potential post-process contamination based on the observed side seam defect.  The firm did not routinely do microbiological analysis of the cooling water, which while not expressly required, it is important to show control.

2.  Failed to perform and record defects of containers, and perform a corrective action when cans were identified as losing their hermetic seal.  Basically, the firm had an inline dud detector to determine which cans had lost vacuum, but the record keeping was poor and there was no follow-up to cans that were rejected.

The Low Acid Canned Food regulations (LACF) are in place for all those who package low acid canned foods where Clostridium botulinum can be an issue.
September 29, 2017
Warning letter 535494