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FDA Recall Continues to Grow

Could you be infected?
Could you be infected?
Image: graur razvan ionut / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced that numerous food products are subject to recall due to possible salmonella contamination in a popular flavor enhancer.  HVP, or hydrolyzed vegetable protein, produced by Las Vegas-based, Basic Food Flavors, Inc. was found to be tainted by the deadly bacteria and the recall affects foods containing HVP produced by Basic Food Flavors, back to February of 2009. Potentially contaminated food products in which heating or other preparation of the food would kill any salmonella bacteria, will not be subject to recall.

Even so, the number of products recalled grew sharply when 1.7 million pounds of ready-to-eat beef taquito and chicken quesadilla products from Houston-based Windsor Foods were added to the list.  Ruiz Foods, Inc., of Denison, Texas, also recalled 115,700 pounds of Tornados ranchero beef & cheese cylinder-shaped snacks. Both Texas companies utilized HVP produced by Basic Food Flavors. So far, more than 100 products containing the additive have been recalled, including salad dressings, gravy mixes, bouillons, soups and ready-to-eat foods. Kroger and Wal-Mart brands have been affected by the recall, as well as brand names such as Pringles and McCormick.  Local and national chains have pulled items in an effort to protect their consumers and the FDA is continuously updating the recall list at www.foodsafety.gov.

The salmonella bacteria attacks the stomach and intestines. In more serious cases, the bacteria may cause severe dehydration and death, if untreated. Children, the elderly and people who are already ill are much more likely to get a serious infection. Symptoms of infection include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, fever and possible blood in the feces. If you believe you have been exposed to the salmonella bacteria and experience symptoms for more than 24 hours, you should seek a physician’s attention.

Sources: www.foodsafety.gov; www.usatoday.com; www.fda.gov  Accessed March 2010

Photo courtesy of graur razvan ionut / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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