Velveeta Recall: Preservatives Insufficient

Just a few months after a shortage of Velveeta cheese threatened to impact Super Bowl parties everywhere, there’s another “crisis” involving the popular cheese product that’s a little more serious. Kraft Foods has announced a voluntary recall of 260 cases – or more than 6,000 pounds – of Velveeta cheese, because the product did not contain the “appropriate” levels of sorbic acid, a preservative. That means the cheese could spoil far more quickly, and well before the “sell-by” date, which could lead to food borne illness.

According to the company’s statement announcing the recall, this action affects 32 ounce packages of Velveeta Original Pasteurized Recipe Cheese Product, which were shipped to three Walmart distribution centers, to be sold in stores in at least a dozen states throughout the Midwest. According to the company, “While unlikely, the affected product could spoil prematurely and/or lead to food borne illness.”

The batch that is subject to recall was the only one affected, and represents a production run of just a few hours. The products contain the batch code, 021000611614, as well as a date stamp that reads “17 DEC 2014,” and a time stamp between 10:54 and 14:35. The company found the defective and potentially hazardous product during a standard review of its finished product, and that they say they have taken steps to make sure the problem doesn’t repeat.

While many may scoff at this, it’s potentially a big deal. A study by the Center for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released last year shows that dairy products, including cheese, have become common causes of foodborne illness, ranking as the leading cause of foodborne illness hospitalizations and ranking second only to poultry with regard to the number of deaths from such illnesses. In fact, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) placed cheese in its list of Top Ten Riskiest Foods Regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2009.

According to the CDC, in recent years the risk of infection from E. coli O157 and Salmonella has increased significantly in recent years. Though much of the increase is due to popularity of unpasteurized raw milk and cheeses, contamination is a serious concern in other dairy products, as well. Kraft Foods has asked that anyone who purchased one of these packages of Velveeta not eat any of it and return it to Walmart for a full refund.

If you have some of this cheese, check the dates, and return it to the store if you have this batch number, or if you have any other cause for concern. If you or someone you love have contracted a foodborne illness from eating any contaminated food, please seek medical help as soon as possible. Then contact the knowledgeable Texas Food Poisoning Injury Lawyer at Hill Law Firm as soon as possible, to protect your rights.

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