In the last few days, two food recalls have been announced that everyone should be aware of. One has to do with possible food poisoning, while the other involves the potential for undeclared milk products that could pose health problems for those with allergies.
Don’t Lick the Cake Batter Spoon!
The first recall, announced Monday, hits close to home and should make people think twice before licking the spoon while a cake is being made. Food giant Conagra Brands has recalled several varieties of Duncan Hines cake mix because of possible Salmonella contamination. In particular, they have recalled 15.25-ounce boxes of Classic White, Classic Butter Golden, Signature Confetti, and Classic Yellow cake mixes, with Best If Used By dates of March 7-13, 2019. Full information about each product, including relevant UPC codes for the affected products, can be found at the FDA’s website.
According to the joint statement from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Conagra to announce the recall, even though “it has not been definitively concluded that this product is linked to the outbreak and the investigation is still ongoing, (the company) has decided to voluntarily recall the specific Duncan Hines variety identified.” So far, at least five cases of Salmonella contamination are being researched by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the FDA as part of their investigation into Salmonella Agbeni because all five had the same DNA fingerprint. Everyone noted that no other Duncan Hines products or any other Conagra Brands’ products are a part of this recall.
The FDA is in the process of investigating the Duncan Hines’ manufacturing facility that produced the recalled cake mix. According to Conagra, most of the recalled products were distributed for retail sale inside the Unite States, as well as a few international exporters. Conagra has also undertaken an effort to remove the recalled products from store shelves.
The FDA has issued a warning to consumers to not use the recalled cake mixes to bake with or eat. They also warned consumers against eating any of the uncooked product, including the flour, the cake mix powder or the batter made from the same.
Salmonella Can Be Painful, or Worse
According to the CDC, salmonella is the second-most-common cause of foodborne illness, with 1.2 million illnesses annually, including more than 23,000 hospitalizations and 450 deaths annually. People who eat food contaminated with Salmonella can develop diarrhea, sometimes severe and potentially bloody, in addition to fever, headaches, and abdominal cramps from 12 to 72 hours after infection. In most cases, the illness goes away in 4-7 days on its own, but sometimes, the illness requires hospitalization and intense treatment. In some rare cases, the illness can lead to dehydration, possible kidney disease, and other serious illness. Salmonella contamination is especially dangerous for small children, the elderly and those with compromised or weak immune systems.
Consumers with these cake mixes are being asked to either throw out the product or return it to the store for a full refund.
Some Smartfood Popcorn May Contain More Than Popcorn
Then, on Tuesday, Plano, Texas-based snack food giant Frito-Lay announced a voluntary recall of some bags of Smartfood popcorn, because there is a possibility there may be undeclared milk ingredients inside. According to the announcement of the recall, Smartfood Delight Sea Salt popcorn bags may have inadvertently been filled with cheese-flavored tortilla chips that contain undeclared milk ingredients.
The recalled products being recalled are half-ounce bags of Smartfood Delight Sea Salt Flavored popcorn packaged in the following variety pack offerings:
- 16 count Smartfood Delight Variety Pack Sack. These packages are stamped with “use by” dates of 4 DEC 2018 OR 18 DEC 2018, and they have an 11-digit manufacturing code that includes “AM” in the second and third positions. (example: xAMxxxxxxxx)
- 16 count Crunch & Pop Mix Variety Pack Sack. These packages are affixed with a “use by” date of either 18 DEC 2018 or 1 JAN 2019, and feature an 11-digit manufacturing code that includes “AM” in the second and third position.” (example: xAMxxxxxxxx)
These products were distributed in retail locations in 29 states, including Texas and they were also sold on various e-commerce sites, as well, so they could have been shipped anywhere. People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to milk products could possibly have a serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they eat the product contained inside the recalled popcorn bags.
Frito-Lay discovered there was an issue when a consumer notified the company that their bag of popcorn contained cheese-flavored tortilla chips. An investigation uncovered that many of the bags of popcorn had inadvertently been filled with the same tortilla chips and cheese flavoring, which contained undeclared milk ingredients.
Consumers with any of the recalled product should take them back to the store where they purchased them for a full refund.