Recalls and Alerts: December 3, 2012

Here is today’s list of food safety recalls, product withdrawals, allergy alerts and miscellaneous compliance issues. The live links will take you directly to the official recall notices and company news releases that contain detailed information for each recall and alert.

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For current information on international and retail distribution of peanut butter products recalled due to Salmonella Bredeney, please consult the Trader Joe’s/Sunland Peanut Butter Recalls tab.

United States

  • Food Safety Recall: VEGGIE PATCH® recalls VEGGIE PATCH brand The Ultimate Meatless Burger, refrigerated, fully cooked (9-oz trays; Use by Jan/12/2013; UPC 6-10129-00211-5) and VEGGIE PATCH brand Falafel, refrigerated, fully cooked (9-oz trays; Use by Jan/15/2013; UPC 6-10129-06619-3), due to a risk of contamination with Listeria monocytogenes. The recalled burgers were sold on or after November 21, 2012 in New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Indiana, Wisconsin, Virginia, New Jersey and Delaware; the recalled falafels were sold nationwide. The contamination was discovered as part of VEGGIE PATCH’s routine product testing.
  • Food Safety Recall: Trader Joe’s recalls Trader Joe’s Butter Chicken with Basmati Rice (12.5 oz boxes; Product Code 2012-10-31; sku 99032; Production date 305 12), because the product may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. The product was recalled by the Canadian manufacturer, Aliya’s Foods Limited (Canadian Est. No. 720). The recalled product was sold in Trader Joe’s stores in Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Massachusetts, Maine, Maryland, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Virginia, and Washington, DC.
  • Food Safety Recall: Wa Heng Dou Fu & Soy Sauce Corporation (Sacramento, CA) recalls all Hua Xing brand Dou-Fu products and all Wa Heng brand Dou-Fu, Tofu, and Soy Milk products (All products manufactured before 11/28/12), due to potential contamination with filth. The recalled products were sold in Northern California.


  • Food Safety Recall: Costco and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency alert the public to the recall of VEGGIE PATCH brand The Ultimate Meatless Burger (1.02 kg refrigerated trays; Product of USA; Best before Jan/12/2013 and Jan/17/2013; UPC 6-10129-08477-7), due to Listeria monocytogenes contamination. The recalled item was sold between November 24th to November 29th, 2012 in Costco Wholesale warehouse stores in Quebec, Ontario (Oshawa and Ottawa stores only), New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Nova Scotia.
  • Food Safety Recall: Compass Food Sales (Aurora, ON) recalls Compass brand California Walnuts, in-shell (300g; Product of USA; UPC 0 68297 20121 0; Best before 07MA2014), because the product may be contaminated with Salmonella. The recalled walnuts were distributed nationally.
  • Food Safety Recall: Loblaws Companies Ltd. (Brampton, ON) recalls Filberts (hazelnuts), in-shell (Product of USA; sold in bulk or in 454g bags bearing UPC 7 75636 10004 1), because the product may be contaminated with Salmonella. The recalled filberts were distributed nationally in Real Canadian Super Store, Fortinos, Freshmart, Loblaws, No Frills, Valu-Mart, Your Independent Grocer, Zehrs, Dominion, Red & White, Save Easy, Cash and Carry, Real Canadian Wholesale Club, AXEP, Group Distribution, Intermarché, Maxi & Cie, Maxi, Presto, Club Entrepôt, Provigo, Extra Foods, Shop Easy, Super Valu, and Westfair retail stores.
  • Food Safety Recall: Loblaws Companies Ltd. (Brampton, ON) recalls Mixed Nuts (Product of USA; 454 g, bearing UPC 6 28721 20678 7; 1.36 kg, bearing UPC 0 33383 70401 2), due to possible contamination with Salmonella. The recalled nuts were distributed nationally in Real Canadian Super Store, Fortinos, Freshmart, Loblaws, No Frills, Valu-Mart, Your Independent Grocer, Zehrs, Dominion, Red & White, Save Easy, Cash and Carry, Real Canadian Wholesale Club, Maxi & Cie, Maxi, Presto, Club Entrepôt, Provigo, Extra Foods, Shop Easy, Super Valu, Westfair, Affiliated Independents, and Quick Mart stores.


  • Food Safety Recall (Belgium): Ruris nv recalls Pommes de terre Annabelle Chair ferme ALDI (2.5 kg; Lot #5739/5765/5784/5793/5833) and Pommes de terre Annabelle D365 Delhaize Chair ferme (5 kg; Lot #5739/5765/5784/5793/5833), due to the presence of an elevated level of the herbicide fluazipop-P-butyl.
  • Food Safety Recall (Denmark): Urtekram Int A/S recalls Organic coconut oil (425 ml; Best before 28/9-2014 and 3/11-2014; Lot codes 28.09.2014 L21 and L21 03.11.2014), due to an unusual taste and smell.
  • Food Safety Recall (Greece): John K. Anastasopoulos & Son Ltd recalls Lily brand Natural Mineral Water (1.5L bottle; Lot #121107; Expiration date 7/11/13), due to contamination with Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
  • Outbreak Alert Update (Norway): The outbreak of Salmonella Mikawasima illnesses has increased to 13 confirmed cases in nine counties: Oslo (1 patient) Akershus (1), Vestfold (1), Aust-Agder (1), Vest-Agder (3) Telemark (1), Oppland (1 ), Hordaland (3) and Nordland (1). The source of the outbreak is still under investigation.

Australia and New Zealand

  • Food Safety Recall (Australia): Lenard’s Pty Ltd. recalls various flavours and varieties of minced chicken products (sold unpackaged to consumers between 27-30 November 2012), due to the presence of foreign material (wood and metal). The recalled product was sold only in Lenard’s retail outlets in Western Australia.

Some supermarket chains post recall notices on their web sites for the convenience of customers. To see whether a recalled food was carried by your favorite supermarket, follow the live link to the supermarket’s recall web site.

*The Kroger umbrella encompasses numerous supermarket, marketplace and convenience store chains, listed on the Kroger corporate home page.
**Includes Safeway, Vons, Pavilions, Dominick’s, Genuardi’s, Randalls, Tom Thumb, Carrs and Pak N’ Save.

Contaminated Almonds Sicken 37 In Australia

Thirty-seven people in six Australian states have suffered from salmonellosis after consuming raw almonds contaminated with Salmonella Typhimurium, according to a report issued over the weekend by Australia’s Department of Health and Aging (ADHA).

The youngest outbreak victim was one year old, the oldest was 76. Five people required a hospital stay. The most recent reported illness onset date was October 6, 2012.

Epidemiologic data, traceback investigations and lab results implicated raw almonds supplied by Select Harvests Limited (Thomastown, Victoria).

Australians first learned of the outbreak on October 23rd, when Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) released the following statement:

“Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) today urged consumers to check their pantries for raw almonds that might be contaminated with Salmonella.

FSANZ Deputy Chief Executive Officer Melanie Fisher said state, territory and federal government authorities were investigating an outbreak of Salmonella gastroenteritis associated with some batches of raw almonds.

 “There have been two recalls associated with this outbreak, one conducted nationally by Woolworths and one in southeast Queensland by Flannerys ,” Ms Fisher said.

The products recalled were supplied by Select Harvests and sold as Woolworths Almond Kernels (with best before dates of 05/02/13; 06/04/13; 07/04/13; 12/04/13) and as Flannerys Own Almonds in 500gm and 1kg zip-lock sealed pouch (with best before dates between 02/07/13 and 05/10/13).

Ms Fisher said consumers should check the brand of almonds in their pantry and if the product had been recalled they should either dispose of any remaining product or return packets to the place of purchase for a full refund. If consumers have almonds in their pantry and are unsure of the source then they should consider disposing of the product.

“The food recalls were notified earlier this month but we want to ensure consumers are carefully checking their pantries as packaged raw almonds are often bought to use later,” she said.

Raw almonds can be identified by the brown skin on the outside of the almond. Roasted almonds (which also have brown skin but will be labelled as ‘roasted’), and processed almonds e.g. blanched almonds, almond slivers and processed product containing almonds, are not affected by these recalls.

Twenty-seven confirmed or suspected cases of salmonellosis linked to the recalled products have been reported in six states and territories.

Symptoms of salmonellosis include diarrhoea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after eating contaminated food. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days and most people recover within a few days. However for very young children (under five years of age), older people and people with weak immune systems, salmonellosis can be much more serious.

If you think you or your family might have become ill from eating raw almonds, you should consult your doctor.”

Neither federal agency has identified the six states that reported outbreak-associated cases of Salmonella Typhimurium. On October 27th, the Western Australia Department of Health released its own consumer alert and reported that ‘…at least three Western Australians...”  were affected by the outbreak.

Australian federal health officials have known about this outbreak for at least a month. On October 4th, Woolworths Ltd. recalled Woolworths Almond Kernels (Best before 05/02/13, 06/04/13, 07/04/13 and 12/04/13) due to Salmonella contamination. Six days later, Nnylonit Pty Ltd, trading as Flannerys Natural & Organic Supermarket, recalled Flannerys Own Almonds (All Best before dates between 2/07/2013 to 5/10/13), due to Salmonella contamination. Both of these companies obtained their almonds from Select Harvests Limited.

Select Harvests issued its own recall notice on October 5th. The notice made no mention of the outbreak, but simply reported that the “…voluntary recall was initiated after laboratory testing identified the potential presence of Salmonella in [some] almonds supplied to Woolworths.” The company updated its recall announcement on October 23rd, reporting that “… extensive testing has been conducted which indicates that the source of potential contamination is isolated to some almonds from one farm. Additional precautionary and voluntary recalls of some products to a number of small, independent, customers have been made.” Once again, no mention of any illnesses.

This is not the first time that raw almonds have been implicated in an outbreak of salmonellosis. In 2003-2004, raw almonds supplied by Paramount Farms (Lost Hills, CA) were linked to at least 29 cases of Salmonella Enteritidis in 12 US states and one Canadian province. Paramount’s almonds were sold under the Kirkland Signature (Costco), Trader Joe’s and Sunkist labels. The raw nuts also were exported to France, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Taiwan and the United Kingdom.

As a result of that outbreak, the Almond Board of California worked with USDA to develop and institute an industry-wide almond pasteurization program in the USA. As of September 2007, all almonds must be pasteurized before being sold to consumers in North America. Select Harvests, according to its October 23rd Announcement has ordered pasteurizing equipment, which it hopes will be operational in the New Year.

Advice to Consumers

  • Check the brand of almonds in your pantry and, if the product has been recalled, either dispose of any remaining product or return it to the place of purchase for a refund.
  • If in doubt, throw it out.
  • Symptoms of salmonellosis include diarrhea, fever and cramps, most commonly developing 12-72 hours after eating contaminated food. If you think that you or a family member has become ill from eating raw almonds, consult your doctor.

Pine Nut Recall Expands; CDC Updates Outbreak Data

Forty-two people were infected with Salmonella Enteritidis after consuming contaminated Turkish pine nuts, according to CDC.

Illnesses  have been reported by five states: Maryland (1), New Jersey (2), New York (27), Pennsylvania (8), and Virginia (4). Two people were hospitalized; the oldest victim was 94, and the youngest was less than one year old. None of the outbreak patients died.

An earlier report, issued by CDC on October 26th, included Arizona in the list of cases. But supplementary DNA profiling carried out by CDC determined that the Arizona case was unrelated to the Pine Nut outbreak, according to Dr. Robert Tauxe of CDC.

CDC reports that some of the outbreak victims consumed prepared dishes – such as homemade pesto,  that contained raw pine nuts. Both Virginia and New York state agencies have recovered the outbreak strain of Salmonella Enteritidis from samples of pine nuts (purchased by outbreak victims from bulk bins at Wegmans supermarket stores), and homemade pesto made from bulk-purchased pine nuts. Wegmans recalled the implicated bulk pine nuts on October 26, 2011.

Salmonella contamination in Turkish pine nuts should not be a total surprise. In August of this year, Greece rejected two consignments of pine nuts from Turkey after samples from both consignments were found to containSalmonella (RASFF Notification #2011.BQS and 2011.BQM).

The Turkish pine nuts were imported into the USA by Sunrise Commodities (Englewood Cliffs, NJ) and distributed in bulk to various food vendors in Florida, New Jersey, New York and Canada. Sunrise recalled 4 lots – totally approximately 21,000 pounds – of pine nuts, after FDA confirmed the presence of Salmonella on the pine nuts. Testing is in progress to determine whether any of FDA’s isolates are a genetic match for the outbreak strain.

CDC offers the following advice to consumers:

  • Consumers should check their homes, including refrigerators and freezers, for Turkish pine nuts purchased from bulk bins at Wegmans stores between July 1, 2011 and October 18, 2011 and not eat them. Consumers should also not eat any foods prepared with the recalled product, including pesto, salads, and baked goods.
  • Restaurants and food service operators should not serve the recalled product.
  • Consumers, retailers, and others who have any of the recalled product should dispose of it in a closed plastic bag placed in a sealed trash can. This will prevent people or animals from eating it.
  • Persons who think they might have become ill from eating possibly contaminated recalled products should consult their health care providers. Infants, older adults, and persons with impaired immune systems are more likely than others to develop severe illness.

It’s very likely that additional recall notices will be posted in coming days, as the extent of the pine nut distribution is determined. Please refer to the Turkish Pine Nuts Recall Distribution List for more information on where the pine nuts were sold.