Thursday, July 16, 2015

Small Food Establishment Forced to Recall Improperly Processed Products

A small Washington establishment is recalling canned pickles and sauces after it was determined that the pH was too high.  The company was selling their product at fruit stands and small shops.

This is an example of the type of issue small businesses can run into when getting into producing foods when they do not know what they are doing.  Too many people want to make these type of products to sell at Farmers' Markets and roadside stands, but do not understand the importance of following the proper procedures for processing.  In this case, they had to recall product.  Worse, they could have made someone ill or worse.  Either way, issues like this can become a financial catastrophe for the establishment.

Penn State has begun a new training program to specifically address this need.  In Farmers' Market Food Safety Workshops, guidance is provided.  But this training opens the door to other training that is more specific to the operation and type of products being made.

FDA Recall Notice
Homemade recalls Pickles and Sauces because of possible health risk
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — Juy 14, 2015 — Leavenworth, WA — Homemade of Leavenworth, Washington is recalling pickle and sauce products because they may have been improperly produced. Washington State Department of Agriculture routine sampling discovered that a bottle of Homemade Bread and Butter Pickles had a pH level high enough to allow the growth of Clostridium botulinum. Required records were not available to support that safe processing guidelines were followed on all sauce and pickle products produced at Homemade.
Foodborne botulism is a severe type of food poisoning caused by the ingestion of foods containing the potent neurotoxin formed during growth of the organism. Foodborne botulism can cause the following symptoms: general weakness, dizziness, double-vision and trouble with speaking or swallowing. Difficulty in breathing, weakness of other muscles, abdominal distension and constipation may also be common symptoms. People experiencing these problems should seek immediate medical attention. Consumers are warned not to use the product even if it does not look or smell spoiled.
Recalled products are packaged in clear glass bottles with metal caps. There are no lot codes or expiration dates on recalled products. The following products have been recalled:
  • Bread and Butter Pickles (16 oz./454 g)
  • Icicle Pickles (16 oz./454 g)
  • Pickled Beets (16 oz./454 g)
  • Chili Sauce (12 oz./340 g)
  • Lite BBQ Sauce (12 oz./ 340 g)
  • Medium BBQ Sauce (12 oz./340 g)
  • Hot BBQ Sauce (12 oz./340 g)
  • Horseradish BBQ Sauce (12 oz./340 g)
The recalled products were sold from small retailers and fruit stands in Chelan and Douglas counties in Washington State.
Homemade has made the decision to recall all pickle and sauce products to ensure the safety of their customers. To date the company has not been notified of illness associated with their products. Robert Eadie, owner of Homemade, believes that “the health of customers is a priority for my company, which is why I am working with the Washington State Department of Agriculture and a recognized process authority to take steps necessary to ensure the safety of my products.”
Consumers who have purchased recalled pickles and sauces are urged to return it to the place of purchase for a refund. Consumers with questions may contact the company at 509-548-5301 Monday through Friday during the hours of 9AM to 5PM PST.

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