Grocery Health Recalls

Stone Fruits At Costco, Walmart And Aldi Are Being Recalled For Listeria

Peaches, plums and nectarines that were imported from Chile are being recalled at various retailers across the country due to a potential contamination with Listeria monocytogenes.

Photo: Liz West // Flickr, CC 2.0

According to a press release from the FDA, the stone fruits were distributed by Jac. Vandenberg, Inc. in New York, to stores like Walmart, Costco, and ALDI. The cause of the Listeria contamination is currently unknown, but is being investigated after a routine sample check at the company’s packing house tested positive for the pathogen.

While Listeria contamination is typically associated with processed meats and fresh cheeses, it’s not uncommon for the bacteria to get into soil and water and get into nearby-growing produce. Healthy individuals usually only suffer from typical food poisoning symptoms, but the infection can be serious for young children, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems. Listeria is also known to cause miscarriages and stillbirths in pregnant women.

Below is a table the FDA posted showing the full list of states, retailers, and fruits affected by the recall:

At Costco and ALDI, the fruits were packaged under the brand “Rio Duero,” and all of the peaches and nectarines have a Chilean country of origin label (COOL).

So far, no poisonings have been reported yet, but if your fruit is part of the affected batch, it should not be consumed. The FDA is urging those who have bought any recalled produce to return it to the story they bought it for a full refund.

Grocery Health Recalls

Many Ready-To-Eat Foods Were Just Recalled For Salmonella AND Listeria Contamination

Major grocers like Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Walmart, and 7-11 are all being affected by a major recall involving prepared vegetables nationwide.

Photo: Lance Cheung // USDA, Creative Commons 2.0

The recall spreads across tons of different prepared foods, including taquitos, ready-to-eat meal salads, sandwich wraps, sandwiches, bowls, and more. According to the USDA’s site related to the outbreak, at least 13 nationwide recalls have been connected to this overarching contamination.

Salmonella and Listeria are the two pathogens involved, and they were responsible for tainting the entire spread of prepared veggies coming from a California plant owned by supplier McCain Foods. These included caramelized onions, sun-dried tomatoes, and corn.

It was McCain’s recall of its various products as a “cautionary measure” that prompted several other food producers and retailers to follow suit, according to Food Safety News.

While most of the products are expired, any that may still be in your fridges or shelves should be discarded, according to the USDA. You can view the full list of products and recalls at this link.

Health News Packaged Food

Kellogg’s Just Issued A Nationwide Recall On Honey Smacks Due To Salmonella

If you’re a fan of Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal and just picked a box or two up, you may want to inspect those boxes. It’s possible they’re part of a multi-state recall in effect right now.

The FDA and Kellogg’s are working together on a voluntary nationwide recall following reports of Salmonella Mbandaka illnesses linked to the cereal. Honey Smacks is the only type of cereal affected so far, with boxes with expiration dates between June 14, 2018 and June 14, 2019 under the recall.

According to warnings from the CDC and FDA, 73 people across 31 states have gotten sick as part of the outbreak so far.

In terms of distribution, the Honey Smacks involved in the recall were distributed nationwide, along with limited releases in Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, the Caribbean, Guam, Tahiti and Saipan.

To check if your cereal box is one of those that could be potentially contaminated with Salmonella, check the UPC code right underneath the barcode on the packaging. If the code matches one of the two in the above Facebook photo, Kellogg’s is recommending that you discard it immediately.

Salmonella is one of the top five common foodborne pathogens that contaminates US food products. Most healthy people that ingest it will experience symptoms like nausea and diarrhea, but it can be serious or even fatal in young children, elderly people, or those with weakened immune systems. Most people recover within a week without need of treatment, however.

Currently, the FDA has linked Honey Smacks to the potential multi-state outbreak of Salmonella, which is why the voluntary recall was put into effect. Kellogg’s began an investigation with their third-party supplier who makes the cereal right after being contacted by the FDA and CDC, according to a press release.

For those who purchased a box of Honey Smacks that may be contaminated, Kellogg’s is offering a refund.

Animals Health News Packaged Food

Improperly Gutted Mackerel Being Recalled By The FDA For Potential Botulism

This may be one of the grossest-sounding food recalls of all time.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently issued a nationwide recall of “The Duck” brand “Frozen Steamed Scomber Fish” because it wasn’t gutted properly. The error in fish processing was discovered at a local grocery store by agriculture inspectors in New York, where it’s illegal to sell fish who still have their intestines (and the literal crap within) inside of them.  This particular product has been distributed nationwide to retail stores with a red label marked “Product of Thailand” and UPC code 040459097206.

Incorrectly gutted fish have a high chance of containing spores of Clostridium botulinum, a bacteria known for poisoning people with botulinum toxin: the same chemical that was in the nacho cheese sauce from a gas station that killed a man last month.

The spores of this bacteria grow especially well in the poopy entrails of scomber fish (better known as mackerel), and can cause symptoms in people who consume them ranging from dizziness and blurred vision to muscle weakness, difficulty in breathing, and even paralysis.

Fortunately, no illnesses from these mackerel have yet to be reported, but if you do see them on shelves or in someone’s home, make sure to toss the fish and prevent anyone from contracting this horrible disease. If you’ve bought it, also make sure to discard of it ASAP.

News Packaged Food Products

Tyson Recalls 2 Million Pounds Of Food Over Serious Labeling Error

A massive cascade of recalls has swept up chicken-producing giant Tyson Foods.

The food manufacturer just recalled nearly two and a half million pounds of frozen chicken patties and fritters that were produced over the past year because of a mislabeled product, according to Food Safety News. The breadcrumbs that Tyson utilized in their food contained milk that was not declared on the labels.

Since milk is considered to be a major allergen, the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has issued a Class I recall to indicate that those who are allergic to milk and unknowingly consume the improperly marked foods may suffer from “serious, adverse health consequences, or death.” So far, thankfully, no such cases have been reported that are linked to Tyson, according to Fortune.

Tyson gets their breading from an unidentified supplier, whose labeling error has led to a total of over 3 million pounds of food being recalled so far, the majority of it being Tyson’s frozen foods. Other major brands affected by the mistake include Libby’s and Chef Boyardee.

Fortunately for Tyson, the massive food recall does not mean that the millions of pounds of misbranded foods will be lost. They do have four options for their returned product that can be utilized: recooking, reworking, relabeling, or destruction if the products cannot be saved. Since Tyson’s products are all frozen, it is possible they could just be relabeled to ensure that customers know the chicken patties and fritters contain dairy within them.

If you have purchased Tyson frozen products recently, you should check here to see if your purchase should be returned and refunded.

Health Packaged Food

Aunt Jemima Recalls, Then Discontinues Frozen Products Due To Potential Listeria Contamination

If you’ve got some Aunt Jemima frozen French toast, waffles, or pancakes in your freezer, pay attention, since your frozen breakfast is getting recalled.

After discovering the nasty food-borne pathogen Listeria monocytogenes in a production plant, Aunt Jemima issued a precautionary recall for a host of its frozen breakfast items that the FDA followed up on with its own recall notice. While no illnesses have been reported yet, the recall ensures that any products that do have the bacteria in them are returned and properly disposed of before anyone does get sick from Listeria.

Typically, Listeria results in high fevers, severe headaches, nausea, muscle stiffness, and diarrhea. But at its worst, it can be fatal to young children, elderly or sick individuals, and can cause miscarriages and stillbirths in pregnant women.

The recall currently covers nineteen different products between Aunt Jemima and Hungry Man in the United States and three products in Canada, according to Food Safety News.

Make sure to check the recall notices to see if any products you purchased are affected. If so, you can return them to the point of purchase for a full refund.

UPDATE: It appears that following the events of the recall, Aunt Jemima brand owner Pinnacle Foods has decided to “exit certain low-margin and non-strategic Aunt Jemima® frozen breakfast products sold to retail and foodservice customers.” Pinnacle Foods CEO Mark Clouse said that the recall “accelerated” the exit, they had been planning to discontinue the products already. While the specifics were not revealed, sixteen total products of frozen French toast, pancakes, and waffles will be discontinued, along with frozen products sold to “food service customers” like Hungry Man.

Health News Products

Powdered Milk Contamination Has Already Affected Over 20 Major Brands


Photo: Legal Reader

In the food industry, there’s many different levels of food producers. From companies that harvest and distribute fresh produce, to businesses that convert foods into ingredient items like powdered milk and fruit juice concentrates, to producers that use those ingredients to make everything from Twinkies to chef-quality ravioli, it’s a complex system of connectivity.

When it comes to ingredients manufacturers, several companies will often purchase from the same supplier. So, if that supplier is affected by a food contamination outbreak and recall, all of the businesses that purchased ingredients from that supplier are affected as well, creating a catastrophic amount of recalls and turning into a massive nightmare for the food industry.

You hope that these outbreaks don’t happen. Unfortunately, one of these began a couple of months ago and has grown to affect over TWENTY different businesses.

Food Safety News, who has been keeping track of all of the recalls related to this original supplier, first reported the supplier’s “recall” in November. I have recall in quotes because it wasn’t as much of a recall as it was a seizure and forced recall.

Milk ingredients producer, Valley Milk Products, was found to have Salmonella in their plant in Strasburg, Virginia. This was based on company records that showed Salmonella to have contaminated their plant as well as some powdered milk and buttermilk products. Usually, when this happens, a company reports it to the FDA immediately, whereupon recalls and the sanitation process can begin, similar to what happened with Sabra’s voluntary hummus recall late last year.

Valley Milk Products, however, chose to not report their findings to the FDA, and the test results weren’t uncovered until a surprise inspection from the FDA in late September. Afterwards, the FDA requested armed US Marshals to seize over 4 million pounds of powdered milk products from the Strasburg facility, and began informing companies who use the powdered milk products that there was a Salmonella contamination issue with that ingredient. Valley Milk Products also had to recall an additional 3.1 million pounds of powdered milk products a couple of weeks later, bringing their total losses to over $7 million from this seizure and recall.

While the FDA doesn’t make full reports of their inspections public, they did release a statement regarding the Valley Milk Products inspection following the seizure. They noted that along with the salmonella contamination, there were extremely poor sanitary conditions in the milk processing plant, and did ask Valley Milk Products to conduct a voluntary recall. It was the refusal of this voluntary recall that led to the seizure of their products.

Since then, several companies have issued voluntary recalls of their own products that contain the contaminated powdered milk, doing their best to ensure that Salmonella exposure to the public is limited. Considering Salmonella is one of the more infamous food-borne pathogens, and can be fatal in elderly, infant, or sick populations. Healthy populations can still experience gastrointestinal symptoms like diarrhea and vomiting, and sometimes even develop severe arthritis.

For those of you wondering what types of products have been recalled containing the powdered milk, here is a compiled list, courtesy of Food Safety News:

Pancake and Waffle mixes (Publix, Stonewall Kitchen, New Hope Mills)
Mac and Cheese (Treehouse Foods, Fourth Street Barbecue/Dollar Tree/Aldi’s)
Monkey Bread (Brand Castle)
Seasoned Chips (Shearer’s Snacks, Old Dutch Foods, Snyder, Dieffenbach’s, Route 11, Mikesells)
Frozen Eclairs and Creampuffs (Simply Enjoy)
Baked Goods (Safeway/Albertson’s/HEB,Twinkies)
Baking Mixes (Williams-Sonoma, House-Autry Mills)
Cheesy Snack Crackers (Houdini/Costco)
Bulk Candies (Palmer,Walmart/Publix, Dutch Valley)
Seasoning Mixes (Tupperware)

Dairy definitely encompasses a wide variety of products, and with the level of supply Valley Milk Products had going on, there’s no wonder so many businesses and products were affected. The good news is that all of these above recalls were voluntary, Salmonella wasn’t detected in their actual products, and no illnesses related to the outbreak have been reported. That’s in part thanks to all of these companies being highly vigilant in their part of the recall process.

As for Valley Milk Products, there’s no telling what their future will hold. As one of the largest powdered milk suppliers that has ceased production for now, it definitely hurts a lot of companies that rely on the powdered milk for product manufacturing. There’s also the consideration of criminal charges that has to be taken into account.

Likely, Valley Milk will face similar charges as food industry giant ConAgra, who recently paid an $8 million fine and lost an additional $3.2 million in assets for a misdemeanor charge related to a massive peanut butter outbreak a decade ago. ConAgra knowingly distributed Salmonella-containing peanuts to distributors like Peter Pan, where a massive Salmonella outbreak infecting over 700 people was traced back to.

While this contamination has involved no illnesses so far, Valley Milk and ConAgra have committed similar crimes of knowingly distributing contaminated products. While ConAgra’s was more serious and led to the largest fine in food criminal history, Valley Milk still has a lot to answer for — and its accountability spreads to a much larger section of the food industry.

We’ll be keeping an eye on the recall process, as several companies are still recalling products weekly.


WIENERGATE: Kraft Recalls 96,000 Pounds of Oscar Mayer Classic Wieners


Nothing worse than a mislabeled wiener, amirite?

That’s the case with this latest food recall from the Kraft Foods Group, where approximately 96,000 pounds of Oscar Mayer Classic Wieners have succumbed to a labeling discrepancy.

Apparently, the Oscar Mayer Classic Wieners in questions may contain Classic Cheese Dogs in the Classic Wieners’ packages. Which means that the packaging doesn’t reflect the ingredients associated with the pasteurized cheese in the cheese dogs, making them a hazard to those trying to stay at bay from the dairy genre.

Here’s the following from the USDA on what products were affected:

The following products are subject to recall: [View Labels (PDF Only)]

  • 16 oz. packages –individual consumer packages– of “Classic Wieners Made with Turkey & Chicken, Pork Added” with “USE BY 16 Jun 2014” date and product code “044700000632”
  • Cases of 16 oz. packages –distributed to retailers– of “Classic Cheese Dogs Made with Turkey & Chicken, Pork Added, and Pasteurized Cheese Product” with “USE BY 16 Jun 2014” date and case code “00447000005300”

The products were produced on March 2-3, 2014, and bear the establishment number “Est. 537H” inside the USDA mark of inspection. The products were distributed to Kraft distribution centers and in retail stores nationwide.

The problem was discovered by a consumer who notified the company on April 18, 2014. The company contacted the USDA the following day regarding the issue.

FSIS and the company have received no reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about a reaction should contact a healthcare provider.

FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to ensure that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers. When available, the retail distribution list(s) will be posted on the FSIS website at:

Consumers with questions about the recall should contact Kraft Consumer Relations at (855) 688-4386.

Retailers with questions should contact their Kraft sales representative or supplier. If they do not know their contacts, retailers should call (855) 688-4386.  Media with questions about the recall should contact Joyce Hodel, Kraft’s corporate affairs director, at (847) 646-4538.

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 l0 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: