In the wake of Trader Joe's walnut worries, here's everything you need to know about the major recalls from the past week
The past week has been rough in the food world: Four major companies had to announce recalls on products nation and worldwide. While they can certainly be serious (three deaths are connected to one of the products already), it all comes down to being informed about the specific products being recalled and why. Here, what you need to know about the four most recent.
Frontier, Simply Organic, and Whole Foods Market brand products made with organic garlic powder: After testing positive for Salmonella contamination during a test by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Frontier Co-op has voluntarily initiated a recall of forty of its products manufactured with organic garlic powder that were sold under its Frontier and Simply Organic brands, and one product sold under the Whole Foods Market brand. Despite Salmonella's track record—which includes potentially serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain in healthy people—no illnesses have been associated with any of these products yet.
Trader Joe's walnuts: Trader Joe's has recalled their raw walnuts after routine testing by an outside company contracted by the FDA revealed the presence of Salmonella in certain packages, which shipped to stores nationwide. To date, Trader Joe's has not received any illness complaints. Trader Joe’s has removed all of these products from store shelves and will suspend sales of these products while the FDA and the manufacturers involved continue their investigation into the source of the problem.
Kraft Macaroni & Cheese: Kraft has voluntarily recalled approximately 242,000 cases (that's 6.5 million boxes) of their original Macaroni & Cheese due to the possibility that some boxes may contain small pieces of metal. The recall applies only to boxes with “Best When Used By” dates of September 18, 2015 through October 11, 2015 with “C2” directly below the date. The recalled product was shipped by Kraft to customers nationwide in the U.S., as well as in Puerto Rico and some Caribbean and South American countries. Kraft states they have received eight incidents of consumers finding metal in the boxes, but no injuries have been reported (despite how uncomfortable biting down on metal sounds).
Blue Bell ice cream: Blue Bell Creamery has recalled multiple ice cream products in the wake of five patients in a Kansas hospital testing positive for listeria after drinking milkshakes made with Blue Bell. Ultimately, three people died, but listeriosis' role in this is still being debated. The FDA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are currently investigating the outbreak and the potential link to Blue Bell. Symptoms of listeria—a rare but serious illness caused by eating food contaminated with the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes—can appear anywhere from a few days up to a few weeks after consumption. Anyone who experiences fever and muscle aches, sometimes preceded by diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms, or develops fever and chills after eating the ice cream should seek medical care and tell their health care provider about any history of eating the ice cream, the FDA advises. In addition to immediately throwing away any of the specific products listed, the FDA recommends thoroughly cleaning your freezer and food prep surfaces if you've purchased any of the recalled products listed on the CDC website.
What you should do: If you've purchased any of the specific products listed on the FDA website, do not eat them. Throw them away or head to the original store of purchase for an exchange or refund. It's simply not worth the risk.