The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has had a busy summer tracking down and reporting ingredients linked to dangerous (and sometimes deadly) foodborne illnesses. Below, study up on eight of the most far-reaching food recalls of the past two months so you can keep yourself and your family safe.
A whey powder used in many brands of chocolate and cream “Swiss” sweet rolls may be contaminated with salmonella, according to a press release by the large baked good company Flower Foods, Inc. The affected products have been pulled off shelves at Walmart (Great Value brand), Food Lion, and Texas-based H-E-B grocery stores and include the following brand names: Mrs. Freshley’s Baker’s Treat, Market Square, and Captain John Dessert’s Old Fashioned Bread.
More than 280 customers have been diagnosed with cyclospora (a foodborne pathogen that is caused by a single-cell parasite) after consuming McDonald’s salads, says the latest CDC Case Count Map. The fast-food restaurant hopes to tame the outbreak by ceasing salad sales in states with outbreaks and switching lettuce-blend suppliers.
Four flavors of the fish-shape cheddar crackers have been recalled, as they may have been produced with salmonella-contaminated whey powder. No illnesses have been reported yet, but Pepperidge Farm is urging snackers to toss or return Flavor Blasted Xtra Cheddar, Flavor Blasted Sour Cream & Onion, Goldfish Baked with Whole Grain Xtra Cheddar, and Goldfish Mix Xtra Cheddar + Pretzel varieties.
In related whey powder news, Mondelez International (the parent company of Ritz crackers), launched a voluntary recall of more than 16 Ritz snacks that may have been contaminated with salmonella. Affected products were sold in all 50 states, and are the snack packs and packages that include dairy.
Salmonella is also the root cause of a large Kellogg’s cereal recall. The CDC asked consumers to throw away all boxes of the honey-laced puffed wheat cereal Honey Smacks —regardless of the date or package size—after more than 70 people were diagnosed with salmonella.
Sold at several gas stations and grocery stores, ready-to-eat Del Monte snack trays featuring broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and dill dip led to 78 confirmed cases of cyclosporiasis, a parasitic intestinal illness. Related products have a “Best If Enjoyed By” date of June 17 or earlier, so all should be off shelves by now. Check packaging for the date to confirm safety.
Kraft Heinz recalled 7,000 cases of the mild cheese dip after jars showed separation, a factor that can allow for growth of the toxin that causes botulism. Don’t judge a jar by smell; instead check for a “Best When Used By” date of October 31, 2018, to January 23, 2019.
Steer clear of imported crab, especially from Venezuela, warn the FDA and CDC. The common dip and rangoon addition could contain vibrio parahaemolyticus, a bacteria that can cause chronic vomiting, diarrhea, or dangerously high fevers. Infected crabmeat could also potentially contaminate other foods in your kitchen, too, so take a look at the origin of your tubs of seafood.