Not all food-safety recalls are announced via a corporate news release and posted on-line.
In some cases, news of a recall is shared only by telephone, email, letter or some other private means.
Nevertheless, all recalls that come under the jurisdiction of the FDA eventually find their way into the FDA’s Weekly Enforcement Report.
A survey of Enforcement Reports for 2020, conducted last week by eFoodAlert, turned up several recalls for which no public notice was issued.
The Smaller Fry
Boesl Packing Company recalled one batch of K9 Kraving Dog Food Beef and Vegetable Raw Dog Food due to Listeria monocytogenes contamination. The recall was initiated on July 22, 2019 and classified six months later as a Class I recall on January 23, 2020. The product was shipped to one customer in North Carolina. The customer was notified by telephone.
G & C Raw, LLC recalled one batch of G&C Raw Ground Turkey due to possible presence of Listeria monocytogenes. The recall was initiated on May 20, 2019 and was eventually classified as a Class I recall on January 23, 2020. The recalled items were distributed only in Michigan and consignees were notified by email.
Grassland Beef recalled two varieties of Dr. Siegel’s S. A. F. E. Petfood, Ground Beef due to possible presence of E. coli O157:H7. The recall was initiated on October 20, 2020 and Classified as a Class I recall on November 23, 2020. The recalled products were shipped directly to consumers nationwide and to one retail location in Florida.
Stella & Chewy’s, LLC recalled one batch of Stella & Chewy’s Raw Blend, Kibble + Wholesome Grains Red Meat Recipe, with Pumpkin & Quinoa due to potential Salmonella contamination. The recall was initiated on October 14, 2020 and classified as a Class I recall on October 28, 2020. The product was distributed in four states and consignees were notified by telephone.
Texas Tripe recalled multiple products in which Listeria monocytogenes and/or Salmonella were detected. The recalls were initiated in July 2019 and classified as Class I on January 23, 2020. FDA was sufficiently disturbed at the magnitude of the problem and the lack of a public recall notice to issue its own caution to pet owners on August 14, 2019.
Woody’s Pet Food Deli recalled one batch of Raw Chicken, Homemade Cat and Dog Food, with supplements, due to Salmonella contamination. The recall was initiated on August 30, 2019 and classified as Class I on January 23, 2020. Product was distributed in Minnesota and Colorado, and customers were notified by telephone.
The Major Leagues
The J.M. Smucker Company recalled several cat food products in December 2019, and one additional product on July 2, 2020, due to excessive levels of choline chloride.
The public recall notice for the 2019 recall stated only that the recall was due to “ingredients believed to not meet the Company’s quality and safety standards.”
Only the July 2020 recall advised the public that an excessive level of choline chloride was behind the recalls.
PetSmart Inc. recalled Authority Savory Blends Turkey Formula Cat Food and Authority Savory Blends Chicken Formula Cat Food (all lot codes) on November 11, 2020, due to elevated levels of the mycotoxin, Zearalenone. The products were distributed nationwide.
According to a spokesperson for the FDA, there is no established action level for Zearalenone in pet foods or animal feeds, and no adverse events relating to the recalled products have been reported to the agency. The PetSmart recall was classified as Class II, since Zearalenone is not considered to be as significant a health risk as certain other mycotoxins, such as aflatoxin.
The Bottom Line
Stealth recalls are not limited to veterinary products, pet treats and pet foods. Some recalls of human food also never enter the public spotlight, for a variety of reasons.
To keep up to date on all FDA-overseen recalls, whether publicized or not, check the FDA’s Weekly Enforcement Report page, which is updated every Wednesday.