Thursday, January 19, 2017

Simple Errors Lead to Allergen Related Recalls

Two recent recalls are a reminder how simple mistakes can lead to allergen recalls. In one case, the wrong label was placed on the product. In the other case, the wrong product got into the bags, probably from insufficient clean-out.

It is required that foods having two or more ingredients list those ingredients including allergens. The two most common (and simple) errors are that 1) the wrong labels are put on the product and 2) the wrong product gets into the package. In the first of these two recalls, egg salad was labeled as chicken salad. In the other, bags of animal cracker cookies had other types of cookies in the bag. Neither issue resulted in illness (except perhaps for the plant manager or the quality manager who had to deal with the recall). However, both recalls have cost, in terms of time to deal with the issue and those associated with locating and retrieving product.
A bread company is recalling bread because milk was left off the ingredient statement.

Too often companies look at tight labeling controls as draconian, requiring personnel to do more than they need to do, but in the end, this extra precaution can save a lot of time and money.

USDA Recall Notice
Willow Tree Poultry Farm, Inc. Recalls Chicken Salad Products Due To Misbranding
Class III Recall 007-2017
Jan 18, 2017
Congressional and Public Affairs  Veronika Medina   (202) 720-9113

WASHINGTON, Jan. 18, 2017 – Willow Tree Poultry Farm, Inc., an Attleboro, Mass., establishment, is recalling approximately 204 pounds of chicken salad products due to misbranding, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today. The consumer ready product containers are labeled as chicken salad with the USDA mark of inspection, but actually contain an egg salad product.

The products were produced on Jan. 10, 2017. The following products are subject to recall: [View Label (PDF Only)]
6-oz packages of Whole Foods Market “Chicken Salad” with a “Sell By” date of 1/24/2017.

The products subject to recall bear establishment number “EST. P-8827” inside the USDA mark of inspection. These items were sold to a distributor in New Jersey for further distribution in Connecticut, New Jersey and New York.

The problem was discovered on Jan. 16, 2017 by the establishment.

There have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about an injury or illness should contact a healthcare provider.

FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers.

Consumers with questions about the recall can contact Alex Cekala, General Manager, at (508) 951-8351. Media with questions about the recall can contact Walter Cekala, President, at (508) 944-0529.

Consumers with food safety questions can "Ask Karen," the FSIS virtual representative available 24 hours a day at or via smartphone at The toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) is available in English and Spanish and can be reached from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a day. The online Electronic Consumer Complaint Monitoring System can be accessed 24 hours a day at:

FDA Recall Notice
D.F. Stauffer Biscuit Co., Inc. Issues Allergy Alert and Voluntary Recall on One Specific Best By Date Of 32oz Original Animal Crackers Due to Undeclared Milk Ingredient
For Immediate Release
January 18, 2017

Consumers  D.F. Stauffer Biscuit Co., Inc.  888-480-1988

View Product Photos

For Immediate Release – January 18, 2017 – D. F. Stauffer Biscuit Co., Inc. is voluntarily recalling one specific best by date of 32 oz. Original Animal Cracker because they may be packaged with other cookies that contain milk powder. People who are allergic to milk run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reactions if they consume this product. The product comes in a 32oz printed plastic bag. The recall affects only the following Best By Date and Lot Numbers, printed on the back of the product bag:

Best By Date: 07SEP17

Bag Lot Numbers: LC120716 and LD120716

Case Lot Number: L120716

UPC code: 7232091022

The products were distributed to Walmart stores in Utah, Colorado, Texas, New Mexico, Wyoming, California, Arizona, Washington, Louisiana, Oregon, Idaho, Hawaii, Montana Arkansas, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Nevada. No other lots or products are affected.

The recall was initiated after receiving consumer complaints of other cookies found mixed in the bag with the Original Animal Crackers manufactured in our California bakery. The specific cookies found by consumers contain milk powder ingredients. Original Animal Crackers do not contain milk powder. No illnesses have been reported to date.

Consumers who have purchased the recalled product are urged to stop consuming the product and return it to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact D.F. Stauffer Biscuit Co., Inc. at 888-480-1988, Mon-Fri, 8am to 5pm EST.

FDA Recall Notice
Athens Baking Company, Inc. Issues Voluntary Allergy Alert on Undeclared Milk in Harvest Whole Wheat Bread
For Immediate Release  January 22, 2017

Consumers Athens Baking Company, Inc. (559)324-8535 ext.108
Media Dave Smart  (559)324-8535 ext.105

View Product Photos

Athens Baking Company, out of an abundance of caution, is issuing a voluntary recall of Trader Joe’s Harvest Whole Wheat Bread (SKU 00132) because it contains undeclared cultured whey, which is made from milk. Only products labeled with “BEST BY: 01/08/17” through “01/27/17” are included in this recall. The “BEST BY” date is printed on the front of the product’s package. People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to milk run the risk of a serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume this product.

The Trader Joe’s Harvest Whole Wheat Bread was only sold at Trader Joe’s stores in Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah. Trader Joe’s stores in the Pacific Northwest, South, Midwest and East Coast are NOT Affected by this recall.

The recall was initiated after it was discovered that product with the affected codes received incorrect packaging, which did not list cultured whey (milk) in the ingredients label. Upon discovering the issue, Trader Joe’s immediately removed from sale all products from store shelves. There have been no consumer complaints or illnesses reported to date.

If you purchased Trader Joe’s Harvest Whole Wheat Bread bearing the “BEST BY: 01/08/17” through “01/27/17”, and have an allergy or sensitivity to milk, please do not consume the product. Instead, return it to any Trader Joe’s store for a full refund. Customers with questions may contact Athens Baking Company, Inc. (559)324-8535 ext.108 here Monday through Friday, between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time.

FDA Recall Notice
Fresh Express Issues Precautionary Recall of a Small Quantity of Caesar Salad Kits Due to an Undeclared Walnut Allergen
For Immediate Release
June 17, 2016

Consumers  Consumer Response Center   (800) 242-5472
Media  Donna Watkins  (512) 266-0832

View Product Photos

Orlando, Florida – Fresh Express Incorporated issued a precautionary recall of a small quantity of 7.6 ounce net weight Fresh Express Caesar Salad Kits when it was learned that two bags of salad kits were mistakenly packed with incorrect condiments including walnuts, a tree nut allergen. According to the company, a total of 2,449 cases could possibly contain the wrong condiment packet and are subject to the precautionary recall. The recalled Caesar Salad Kits were distributed to approximately 19 states primarily in the Southeast and are identified by Product Code G163B13A with a Use-By Date of June 26.

Fresh Express representatives are already working with retailers to ensure any incorrectly packed salad kits are rapidly removed from store shelves and inventories. No other Fresh Express products are included in this recall. No illnesses are reported.

Consumers in possession of the recalled product should discard it. A refund is available where purchased or by contacting the Fresh Express Consumer Response Center toll-free at (800) 242-5472 during the hours of 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Eastern Time.

Upon being alerted to the mistake, Fresh Express took immediate action to protect the health and well-being of consumers who may be at risk from exposure to an undeclared walnut allergen. According to company procedure, Fresh Express products containing allergens must be properly labeled in accordance with the law. Any deviation is immediately investigated and action taken to ensure removal from the marketplace.

Fresh Express takes all matters of food safety seriously. The Fresh Express comprehensive food safety program exceeds government requirements and focuses on preventive measures to minimize risk. Fresh Express is coordinating closely with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to effectively manage this isolated incident caused by human error.

Recalled Product Identification Details
7.6 ounce net weight Fresh Express Caesar Salad Kit
Product Code G163B13A; Use-By Date June 26 (located in the upper right hand corner on the front of the bag)
UPC Code 0 71279 30100 6 (located on the reverse side of the bag by the bar code)

Recalled Product Distribution

Fresh Express Precautionary Recall, June 17, 2016, 7.6 ounce Caesar Salad Kit

(No other Fresh Express Salads are included in this recall)

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