McCain company officials ignored signs of Salmonella, Listeria contamination

This article by Phyllis Entis first appeared in Food Safety News and is reposted here with permission

For more than 2 1/2 years, management at the Colton, California facility of McCain Foods USA ignored positive test results for Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella, apparently choosing to ship the potentially contaminated vegetable and fruit products without conducting confirmation tests.

This pattern of behavior was discovered during an internal audit at the manufacturing location, according to information in the FDA’s Weekly Enforcement Report released yesterday.

“During an internal audit at the manufacturing location, it was discovered that finished product had been released on numerous occasions after receiving presumptive positive test results for Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella; confirmation was not conducted,” according to the FDA report.

Testing for pathogens such as Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella involves multiple stages. The “presumptive positive” first stage indicates the possibility that a food sample may contain the pathogen. A second, confirming stage to identify the microbe is standard laboratory operating procedure. 

McCain’s Colton manufacturing facility was most recently inspected by the Food and Drug Administration in January, according to information in the agency’s on-line inspection database. That inspection resulted in a classification of “Voluntary Action Indicated,” suggesting that FDA investigators recorded one or more “Inspectional Observations” requiring correction. Food Safety News has requested, but has not yet received, a copy of the Establishment Inspection Report.

On Oct. 13 McCain recalled all products it shipped on or after Jan. 1, 2016, from its Colton, CA, facility. The recalled products were distributed in the United States, Canada, China, Korea and Mexico. The recalls were classified as Class II under FDA’s three-class system. Products that might cause a temporary health problem, or pose only a slight threat of a serious nature are considered to be Class II.

McCain Foods is a privately owned, multinational company with its main offices in Ontario, Canada. It has many business customers, including other food companies, retailers, restaurants and institutional foodservice operations such as school districts. Recalls by retailers that used McCain ingredients in their branded products include WalMart, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods and 7-Eleven.

To date, no confirmed illnesses have been reported in connection with the recalled products. However, it can take up to 70 days after exposure for symptoms of Listeria infection to develop.

McCain’s voluntary recall included the following 63 different products, packaged and sold under multiple brand names, which are indicated in parentheses.

  • Fire Roasted 1/2″ Diced Red Peppers; Sold in 2 lb. and 25 lb. containers (Jon-Lin)
  • Fire-Roasted 1/4″ Diced Red Jalapenos; Sold in 25 lb. containers (Jon-Lin and NatureSmart)
  • Sautéed 3/8″ Diced Onions; Sold in 25 lb. containers (Jon-Lin and NatureSmart)
  • Corn and Black Bean Blend: Sold in 2 lb. and 25 lb. packages (Jon-Lin, NatureSmart and Chef Sensations)
  • Caramelized Onion Strips: Sold in 2 lb. and 25 lb. packages  (Jon-Lin and NatureSmart)
  • Fire-Roasted Red Pepper Julienne Strips: Sold in 2 lb. and 25 lb. packages (Jon-Lin and NatureSmart)
  • Fire-Roasted Thin Sliced Portobello Mushrooms: Sold in 2 lb. packages (Jon-Lin and NatureSmart)
  • Caramelized 3/8″ Diced Onions: Sold in 25 lb. packages (Jon-Lin)
  • Roasted Vegetable Blend: Sold in 2 lb. packages (GFGB)
  • Fire Roasted Half Moon Green Zucchini : Sold in 25 lb. and 1,200 lb. packaging (Jon-Lin)
  • Fire Roasted Super Sweet Corn: Sold in 20 lb. (Chef Sensations)
  • Fire Roasted Red Pepper Strips: Sold in 20 lb. (Jon-Lin)
  • Smokehouse Roasted 5/8″ Diced Apples: Sold in 25 lb. (Jon-Lin)
  • Fire-Roasted 1/2″ Diced Onions: Sold in 25 lb. (Jon-Lin)
  • Fire Roasted 1/2″ Diced Green Peppers: Sold in 25 lb. (Jon-Lin)
  • Fire Roasted 1/2″ Diced Yellow Peppers: Sold in 25 lb. (Jon-Lin)
  • Fire-Roasted Onion/Pepper Strip Blend: Sold in 20 lb. (Jon-Lin)
  • Fire Roasted 1/4″ Diced Red Peppers: Sold in 25 lb. (Jon-Lin)
  • Sautéed 1/4” Diced Onions: Sold in 25 lb. (Jon-Lin)
  • Fire-Roasted Rubio’s Vegetable Blend: Sold in 2 lb. (Chef Sensations)
  • Fire-Roasted Onion Strips: Sold in 20 lb. (Jon-Lin)
  • Sautéed Mushrooms: Sold in 500g (no brand name)
  • Fire-Roasted Bell Peppers and Onions Sold in 14 oz. package. (Trader Joe’s and unbranded)
  • Sautéed Organic Onion Strips: Sold in 25 lb containers (Jon-Lin and NatureSmart)
  • Jalapeno Poblano Onion Blend; Sold in 2 lb. and 25 lb. containers. (Jon-Lin)
  • Dark Caramelized 3/8″ Diced Sweet Onions; Sold in 20 lb. containers. (Jon-Lin)
  • Caramelized 1/4″ Diced Onions; Sold in 25 lb. containers (Jon-Lin)
  • Fire-Roasted Homestyle Julienne Tri-Colored Pepper Strips; Sold in 20 lb. containers. (Jon-Lin and NatureSmart)
  • Fire Roasted 1/2″ Diced Poblano Chiles: Sold in 25 lb. containers (Jon-Lin)
  • Fire-Roasted 1/2″ Diced Onions: Sold in 25 lb. containers (Jon-Lin)
  • Sautéed 3/8” Diced Organic Onions: Sold in 25 lb. containers (Jon-Lin and NatureSmart)
  • Fire Roasted 1/2″ Diced Green Zucchini ; Sold in 25 lb. containers (Jon-Lin)
  • Fire-Roasted Cauliflower Florets ; Sold in 25 lb. containers (Jon-Lin)
  • Fire Roasted 1/2″ Diced Tomatoes; Sold in 25 lb. containers. (Jon-Lin)
  • Fire Roasted 1/2″ Diced Onion/Pepper Blend; Sold in 25 lb. containers (Jon-Lin)
  • Sautéed Julienne Onion Strips With Canola Caramel; Sold in 20 lb. containers (Jon-Lin)
  • Pizza Kitchen Cut Medley; Sold in 25 lb. containers (Jon-Lin and NatureSmart)
  • Fire-Roasted Pepper and Onion Blend; Sold in 300 lb. containers (Jon-Lin)
  • Fire-Roasted 3/8″ Diced Organic Onions; Sold in 25 lb. containers (Jon-Lin and NatureSmart)
  • Fire Roasted 1/4″ Diced Poblanos; Sold in 25 lb. containers (Jon-Lin and NatureSmart)
  • Fire-Roasted Poblano Strips; Sold in 20 lb. containers. (Jon-Lin and NatureSmart)
  • Fire Roasted Red Onion Sticks; Sold in 25 lb. containers (Jon-Lin)
  • Caramelized Mushroom Slices; Sold in 25 lb. containers (Jon-Lin)
  • Fire-Roasted Rubio’s Elote Corn Blend; Sold in 2 lb. containers (Chef Sensations)
  • Fire-Roasted Pineapple Tidbits; Sold in 25 lb. containers (Jon-Lin)
  • Fire-Roasted 1/2″ Diced Tomatillos; Sold in 25 lb. containers (Jon-Lin)
  • Fire-Roasted Rubio’s Fresno Chili ; Sold in 2 lb. containers (Chef Sensation)
  • Fire Roasted Green Pepper Strips ; Sold in 2 lb. containers (Jon-Lin and NatureSmart)
  • Fire-Roasted Green Jalapeno Slices; Sold in 20 lb. containers (Jon-Lin and NatureSmart)
  • Fire Roasted Yellow Pepper Strips; Sold in 20 lb. containers (Jon-Lin)
  • Fire-Roasted Corn & Black Bean Blend; Sold in 2 lb. containers (Jon-Lin and NatureSmart)
  • Fire-Roasted Red Onion & Pepper Blend: Sold in 2 lb. containers (Hot Stuff Foods)
  • Fire Roasted 1/2″ Diced Button Mushrooms: Sold in 25 lb. containers (Jon-Lin)
  • Sautéed Green Pepper Strips: Sold in 25 lb. containers (Jon-Lin)
  • Fire-Roasted Home-Style Red Pepper Strips: Sold in 20 lb. containers (Jon-Lin)
  • Fire-Roasted Home-Style Green Pepper Strips: Sold in 20 lb. containers (Jon-Lin)
  • Fire-Roasted Home-Style Yellow Pepper Strips: Sold in 20 lb. containers (Jon-Lin)
  • Fire-Roasted 1/4″ Diced Jalapenos: Sold in 25 lb. containers (Jon-Lin and NatureSmart)
  • Fire Roasted 1/2″ Diced Eggplant: Sold in 25 lb. containers (Jon-Lin)
  • Fire-Roasted Red Jalapeno Slices: Sold in 2 lb. containers (Jon-Lin)
  • Fire-Roasted Red Jalapeno Slices: Sold in 2 lb. containers (Jon-Lin)
  • Fire-Roasted 1/2″ Diced Red Onions: Sold in 25 lb. containers (Jon-Lin)
  • Fire-Roasted Organic Super Sweet Corn: Sold in 1,500 lb. containers (Jon-Lin)

For more information on the recalls, see McCain’s contaminated vegetables trigger massive food recalls – Updated 10/23/18

Recalls and Alerts: October 22 – 25, 2018

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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United States

Allergy Alert: New Seasons Market recalls New Seasons Market Hot & Sour Broth (24 oz; All Best Before dates; UPC 840600108672) due to undeclared soy.

Allergy Alert: Shirley’s Cookie Company Inc. recalls Chocolate Whoopie Pie (16-oz clear, plastic pkg; Batch code 227256; Freezer sell by 9/1/19; UPC 4149710692) due to undeclared peanuts. The recalled product was supplied to Weis Markets.

Food Safety Recall: Sirob Imports, Inc. recalls Corrado, Orlando Imports, Nouri’s Syrian Bakery, Mediterranean Specialty Foods Brand and Butera Fruit Market Curry Powder because it contains elevated levels of lead. Please refer to the recall notice for additional information regarding the recalled products.

Pet Food Safety Recall: G & C Raw, LLC recalls all G & C Raw Dog Foods and G & C Raw Cat Foods due to potential Listeria monocytogenes contamination. Please refer to the recall notice for a complete list of affected products, which were distributed by G & C Raw, LLC through direct delivery in OH, MI, IN, PA, KY, NC, TN, SC, GA, and IL.

Canada

Allergy Alert: les aliments Snacktonik (Québec, QC) recalls various Croque la Vie brand snack bars due to undeclared peanuts, milk, nuts and soy. Please refer to the recall notice for a complete list of affected products.

Allergy Alert: Boucherie Jacques Beaulieu inc. (Québec, QC) recalls various sausages due to undeclared sesame seeds, mustard seed, egg and sulfites. Please refer to the recall notice for a complete list of affected products.

Allergy Alert: Original Foods Ltd. recalls Original Foods brand Marshmallow Brooms and MallowBats due to undeclared milk. Please refer to the recall notice for a complete list of affected products.

Allergy Alert: AJ International Trading (2372761 Ontario Inc.) recalls various Qingchun brand and Wulama brand products due to undeclared sesame, wheat and gluten. Please refer to the recall notice for a complete list of affected products.

Food Safety Recall: SK Food Group recalls Jenny Craig brand Chicken BBQ Wrap (128g; All Best Before dates from 2018 OC 31 up to and including 2019 OC 04; UPC 6 55447 10618 3) due to potential Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella contamination.

Food Safety Recall: McCain Foods (Canada) recalls various McCain brand frozen products due to potential Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella contamination. Please refer  to the recall notice for a complete list of affected products.

Europe

Allergy Alert (Belgium): PepsiCo BeLux recalls Duyvis Crac a Nut Paprika (200 g; Best before 08/06/2019; Lot #08/06/19 248 NLZ08) due to undeclared milk.

Allergy Alert (France): E. Leclerc recalls Biovillage brand Salade Quinoa fruits sec (200g; Lot #829201; Best before 04/11/2018) due to undeclared gluten.

Allergy Alert (Iceland): Noah Síríus recalls Síríus brand Cream chocolate with salted crisp chips and sea salt (Lot #L1868; Best before 04 January, 2020) due to undeclared hazelnuts.

Allergy Alert (Ireland): Manufacturer recalls Four Seasons Sesame Paste Tahini (800g; Batch 114; Best before March 2020) due to undeclared peanuts.

Allergy Alert (Luxembourg): PepsiCo recalls Duyvis Crac a Nut Paprika (200 g; Best before 08/06/2019; Lot #08/06/19 248 NLZ08) due to undeclared milk.

Allergy Alert (UK): ASDA recalls ASDA Frozen Smooth Mashed Potato (900g; Lot #18151; Best before 31 May 2019) due to undeclared gluten.

Allergy Alert (UK – England specific): Waitrose recalls Waitrose Normandy Pork Casserole (700g; Use by 29 October 2018) due to undeclared milk.

Allergy Alert (UK – England specific): The Grocer Ltd recalls The Grocer Spinach and Broccoli Soup (400g; All dates up to and including 26 October 2018) due to undeclared  milk.

Food Safety Recall (France): Natur’avenir recalls Natur’avenir brand Soupe lentilles corail cumin (640g; Lot #A260 1; Best before 03/2020) because of signs of microbial growth linked to inadequate sterilization.

Food Safety Recall (France): Candia recalls Candia Baby Croissance 4 (20-36mois) (24 x 25cL pkg; Lot #18206F; Expiry 21/01/19 F) due to contamination with an enterobacter that could trigger digestive upset.

Food Safety Recall (France): Tout va bien recalls Cora brand Pizza Chorizo et Poivrons (450g; Best before 20/09/18, 25/09/18, 01/10/18, 04/10/18) due to Listeria contamination.

Food Safety Recall (France): Auchan recalls J. Barbé B.V. brand Moules de Hollande (various package sizes; Lot #L502113; Best before 21/10/2018) due to Salmonella contamination.

Food Safety Recall (Germany): Martin Amberger Kartoffelverarbeitung Dolli-Werk GmbH & Co. KG recalls Feldmühle Röstiteig (Best before 16.10.2018 –06.11.2018) due to foreign matter contamination.

Food Safety Recall (Ireland): Supervalu and Centra recall Supervalu Signature Tastes Irish Chicken and Wild Mushroom Pie and Inspired By Centra Irish Chicken and Wild Mushroom Pie due to foreign matter (small bones) contamination. Please refer to the recall notice for additional product details.

Food Safety Recall (Italy): PEDON S.p.A. recalls MISTO 5 CEREALI C’E’ DI BUONO (500g; Expiry 31/07/20 – 01/08/20) due to Bacillus cereus contamination.

Food Safety Recall (Italy): PEDON S.p.A. recalls IN FORMA -CARREFOUR brand MIX 5 CEREALI PRECOTTI (500g; Expiry 29/02/20) due to Bacillus cereus contamination.

Food Safety Recall (Luxembourg): Food safety authorities announce recall of Healthy Powerfood, Sprossenmanufaktur brand products containing alfalfa sprouts (All best before dates up to 29.10.2018; Product of Germany) due to Shigatoxin-producing Escherichia coli.

Food Safety Recall (Luxembourg): Auchan recalls various Atelier Blini brand products due to Listeria monocytogenes contamination. Please refer to the recall notice for a complete list of affected products.

Food Safety Recall (UK): CSM Bakery Solutions recalls 18 Chocolate Cornflake Cluster Mini Bites (18 pieces/pkg; Lot #18 285; Best before 09 February 2019) due to possible Salmonella contamination.

Asia, Africa and the Pacific Islands

Allergy Alert (Israel): ECO- Wire Investments Ltd. recalls GFREE brand frozen gluten-free dumplings with potato and onion filling (250g; Batch L- 31000394; Expiry 30.12.19; Manufactured by GLotenzro Finland Oy) due to undeclared gluten.

Australia and New Zealand

Allergy Alert (Australia): World Brand Importers recalls Gourmet Shreds Cheddar (200g; Best Before 27/03/2019) and Gourmet Shreds Pizza (200g; Best Before 26/03/2019) due to undeclared milk.

Allergy Alert (New Zealand): Jimmy’s Pies Ltd recalls Jimmy’s brand Mince Pie and Jimmy’s brand Mince and Cheese Pie (170g; All batches up to and including number 8250) due to undeclared monosodium glutamate (MSG).

Food Safety Recall (New Zealand): Moana New Zealand recalls Hoki Smoke Ltd Tuna Steaks Smoked (All sizes; Use By 12/10/18) due to elevated histamine level.

McCain Foods USA recall extends to Canada

McCain Foods USA, Inc. has posted an updated notice on its website today, advising the public of a volutary recall on fire roasted, caramelized or sauteed frozen vegetables produced in the company’s Colton, California facility, due to the potential for contamination with Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes.

The company has notified its customers (ie., distributors, retailers, food service or manufacturers) of the recall. According to the notice on the McCain website, the company is working with its customers and with regulatory agencies in both the US and Canada.

In addition to the list of products recalled in the USA, the following products have been recalled in Canada.

McCain Foods (Canada) (Distributed to hotels/restaurants/institutions across Canada; all units sold up to and including October 12, 2018)
McCain Chef Sensations Corn and Black Bean Blend – 12 lbs; UPC 72714905124
McCain Jon-Lin Naturesmart Fire-Roasted Thin Sliced Portobello Mushrooms – 12 lbs; UPC 18596580288
McCain Jon-Lin Fire Roasted 1/2″ Diced Red Peppers – 12 lbs; No UPC
McCain Jon-Lin Caramelized 3/8″ Diced Onions – 25 lbs; UPC 18596401408
McCain Jon-Lin Fire Roasted Half Moon Green Zuccini – 25 lbs; No UPC
McCain Jon-Lin Naturesmart Fire-Roasted Red Pepper Strips – 20 lbs; 18596531501
McCain Jon-Lin Smokehouse Roasted 5/8″ Diced Apples – 25 lbs; No UPC
McCain Jon-Lin Fire-Roasted Super Sweet Corn – 25 lbs; No UPC
McCain Jon-Lin Fire Roasted Half Moon Green Zucchini – 12 lbs; No UPC
McCain Jon-Lin Nature Smart Fire-Roasted Red Pepper Julienne Strips – 12 lbs; UPC 55773531534
McCain Jon-Lin Sauteed 3/8″ Diced Onions – 25 lbs; No UPC
McCain Jon-Lin Caramelized Onion Strips – 25 lbs; No UPC
McCain Jon-Lin Caramelized Onion Strips – 12 lbs; UPC 18596000243
McCain Jon-Lin Fire Roasted 1/2″ Diced Red Peppers – 25 lbs; UPC 18596532201
McCain Jon-Lin Naturesmart Fire-Roasted 1/4″ Diced Red Jalapenos – 12 lbs; UPC 18596000298
SK Food Group (Distributed to Consumer level across Canada)
Jenny Craig Chicken BBQ Wrap – 128g; All Best Before dates from 2018 OC 31 up to and including 2019 OC 04; UPC 6 55447 10618 3