Recalls and Alerts: December 10 – 13, 2017

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.

If you would like to receive automatic email alerts for all new articles posted on eFoodAlert, please submit your request using the sidebar link.

United States

Food Safety Recall: Springfield Smoked Fish recalls Presliced Nova Salmon (1-lb. package; Lot #42173; Expiration date 12/22/17; UPC 811907018018) due to Listeria monocytogenes contamination. The recalled product was sold in retail stores in Rhode Island and Connecticut.

Food Safety Recall: Santa Fe Importers, Inc. recalls MARISA PREMIUM QUALITY GENOA SALAMI ITALIAN BRAND (3.5 to 4.0-lbs. random weight packages; Lot code 257-100161; Packaging date Sept. 14, 2017) due to possible contamination with metal shavings.

Pet Food Safety Recall: Arrow Reliance Inc. (doing business as Darwin’s Natural Pet Products) recalls Natural Selections Duck Meals for Cats, frozen (2-lb. package; Lot #38277; Manufactured 06/01/17) due to Salmonella contamination. The recalled products were sold directly to consumers in AK, AR, AZ, CA, CO, FL, GA, HI, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OK, OR, PA, TX, UT, VA, WA, WI, and WY.

Pet Food Safety Recall: Arrow Reliance Inc. (doing business as Darwin’s Natural Pet Products) recalls Natural Selections Chicken with Organic Vegetables Meals for Dogs (2-lb. package; Lot #40727; Manufactured 09/26/17) due to Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes contamination. The recalled products were sold directly to consumers nationwide.

Pet Food Safety Recall: Arrow Reliance Inc. (doing business as Darwin’s Natural Pet Products) recalls Natural Selections Duck With Organic Vegetables Meals for Dogs (2-lb package; Lot #40487; Manufactured 09/29/17) due to Salmonella contamination. The recalled products were sold directly to consumers nationwide.

Pet Food Safety Recall: Arrow Reliance Inc. (doing business as Darwin’s Natural Pet Products) recalls Natural Selections Turkey With Organic Vegetables Meals for Dogs (2-lb. package; Lot #39937 and #40507; Manufactured 08/24/17 and 09/20/17 respectively) due to Salmonella contamination. The recalled products were sold directly to consumers nationwide.

Dietary Supplement Safety Recall: Marmex Corp. recalls Blue Pearl All Natural Male Enhancement Supplement (500mg; All lots), because the product contains sildenafil.

Canada

Outbreak Alert: Twenty-one cases of E. coli O157:H7 infections in New Brunswick, Quebec, and Newfoundland and Labrador have been linked to consumption of Romaine lettuce, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC). Ten individuals have been hospitaized. The source of the Romaine lettuce has not yet been determined.

Allergy Alert: Pristine Promotions Ltd. recalls Gesas brand Turkish Halva (760g; All lots) due to undeclared pistachios and sesame seeds. The recalled products were distributed to retailers in Manitoba and Ontario.

Allergy Alert: Wang Zhong Wan recalls Wang Zhong Wan brand Fishball with Meat (2000g; No product codes; UPC 6 985658 977970) due to undeclared egg. The recalled product was distributed to retailers in Ontario.

Allergy Alert: Thai United Food Trading Ltd. recalls Vinh Thuan brand Hagou Flour (400g; Expiry 30/05/2019; UPC 8 934734 072038) due to undeclared gluten. The recalled product was distributed to retailers in Alberta and British Columbia.

Allergy Alert: T-Brothers Food And Trading Ltd. recalls Ottogi brand Rice Cake Soup (181.6g; All lots; UPC 6 45175 89093 5) and Ottogi brand Beef Bone and Vegetable Soup (22g; All lots; UPC 6 45175 62040 2) due to undeclared milk. The recalled product was distributed to retailers in Alberta, British Columbia, and Manitoba.

Allergy Alert: Sobeys Inc. recalls Sensations brand Cinnamon Roll Uncooked Dough (450g; Product code 17AL27; UPC 6 23682 11977 0) due to undeclared pecans. The recalled product was distributed in New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, and Prince Edward Island

Food Safety Recall: Xin Rui Food Co. Ltd. recalls Xin Rui Food brand Pork Meatball with Shii-Take Homestyle (400g; Product codes 11:16:2017 and 11:4:2017; UPC 8 96548 00016 5) due to pieces of plastic. The recalled product was distributed to retailers in Ontario.

Food Safety Recall: Marché Artisans recalls Smoked Salmon (variable weights; all lots), due to unsafe conditions of manufacture.

Europe

Outbreak Alert (France): Twenty-five cases of Salmonella Agona infections in infants have been traced to contaminated powdered infant formula manufactured by Lactalis Nutrition Santé group. Please refer to the list of recalled products.

Allergy Alert (Denmark): Hanegal A/S recalls Grøntsagscurry m/kikærter (Vegetable curry with chickpeas) sold as Sauce Bolognese (400g; Best before 20/12/2017) due to undeclared celery and mustard seed.

Food Safety Recall (Germany): Toms Gruppen A/S recalls various Anthon Berg brand candies and chocolates due to possible contamination with pieces of plastic. Please refer to the recall notice for a complete list of affected products.

Food Safety Recall (Germany): Kavo Produktions GmbH recalls Simply Sunny Dried Figs (250g; Best before July 2018; Lot 39677) due to elevated levels of ochratoxin.

Food Safety Recall (Luxembourg): Supermarchés Cora recalls Lactel Milumel Bio powdered Infant Formula (900g; Lots 17C0012686, 17C0012844, 17C0012965, 17C0013595, and 17C0013733; Best before 27/04/2018, 24/05/2018, 12/09/2018, 06/01/2019, and 03/02/2019, respectively; Product of France) due to Salmonella contamination.

Food Safety Recall (Sweden): ICA recalls ICA Basic Raspberries (500g; Best before 2019-06-19) due to Norovirus contamination.

Food Safety Recall (Sweden): Lantmännen Unibake Sverige recalls Bonjour 59475 Princesswiener (produced from November 13 to December 8, 2017) due to the risk of contamination with pieces of metal.

Asia, Africa and the Pacific Islands

Food Safety Recall (Hong Kong): Jumbo Smart Development Limited recalls Mon Petit brand Inovital Infant milk from 0 to 6 months (900g; Best before March 13, 2019 and June 22, 2019; Product of France), Mon Petit brand Inovital Follow-on milk from 6 to 12 months (900g; Best before March 16, 2019 and June 27, 2019; Product of France) and Mon Petit brand Inovital Growing-up milk from 1 to 3 years (900g; Best before March 15, 2019; Product of France) due to Salmonella contamination.

Recalls and Alerts: December 4 – 6, 2017

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.

If you would like to receive automatic email alerts for all new articles posted on eFoodAlert, please submit your request using the sidebar link.

United States

Allergy Alert: Creative Contract Packaging LLC recalls HERB-OX® Beef Flavor Granulated Bouillon (4-oz. jars; Best before SEPT 2020 and OCT 2020) due to undeclared milk.

Allergy Alert: Heartland Creamery recalls Cranberry Pecan and Cranberry Orange Goat Cheeses (4 oz. pkgs) due to undeclared pecans.

Food Safety Recall: The Kroger Company recalls Comforts FOR BABY Purified Water with Fluoride Added (1 gal/3.78L; Sell by dates from 4/26/2018 to 10/10/2018; Plant code 51-4140; UPC 0 41260 37597 2) due to complaints of mold contamination in the product. The recalled products were distributed to Kroger stores, including Food 4 Less, Jay C, Jay C Food Plus, Kroger, Kroger Marketplace, Owen’s, Payless Super Market, and Ruler stores in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.

Food Safety Recall: Tribe Mediterranean Foods Inc. recalls Roasted Red Pepper Hummus (Lot #72975505B 1423; Expiry Dec 23; UPC 78902-41135) and Tomato Pesto Swirl Hummus (Lot #72975505A 0924; Expiry Dec 23; UPC 78902-41153) due to mold contamination.

Canada

Outbreak Alert (Update): An outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis infections linked to frozen raw breaded chicken products has grown to 22 confirmed cases. Outbreak-related cases have been confirmed in six provinces: British Columbia (1), Alberta (1), Ontario (12), Quebec (3), New Brunswick (3), and Nova Scotia (2)

Food Safety Recall: Concord Sales Ltd. recalls Anthon Berg Sweet Moments Marzipan Bar Mini (165g; All Best before dates up to and including 09-10-2018; UPC 0 74540 90603 0) due to pieces of plastic. The recalled product was supplied to retailers in Ontario.

Europe

Outbreak Alert/Food Safety Recall (France): The Department of Health reports an outbreak of Samonella agona infections affecting 20 children aged 6 months or less in 8 different regions of France. Twelve production lots of infant formula have been recalled by Lactalis in connection with this outbreak. Please refer to the news release for complete details.

Allergy Alert (Germany): Action Deutschland GmbH recalls Montevergine Nougat-Riegel mit Erdnüssen/Montevergine nougat bar with peanuts (80g in Christmas packaging; All expiration dates up to and including 01.09.2018) due to undeclared egg.

Allergy Alert (Ireland): Big Al’s Chicken Goujons (400g; Best before end December 2018) recalled due to undeclared milk and mustard.

Allergy Alert (Ireland): Big Al’s Chicken Chunks and Chicken Dippers (various batches) recalled due to undeclared mustard. Please refer to the recall notice for a detailed list of affected products.

Allergy Alert (Luxembourg): Montevergine Nougat bars (80g; Best before 01.09.2018; Product of Brazil) recalled due to undeclared egg.

Allergy Alert (UK): Kepak Frozen Division recalls three varieties of its Big AL’s chicken products due to undeclared mustard and milk. Please refer to the recall notice for additional details on the affected products.

Food Safety Recall (France): Suzi Wan brand Crème de Coco / Coconut cream (200ml; Best before dates up to and including 01/05/2019) due to potential microbial growth.

Food Safety Recall (Ireland): Goatsbridge recalls Goatsbridge Trout Pâté (125g; Lot P054717; Use by 06.12.2017) due to presence of Listeria monocytogenes.

Food Safety Recall (UK): West London Sandwiches recalls various sandwiches because the products were produced in unhygienic conditions. Please refer to the recall notice for a complete list of affected products.

Asia, Africa and the Pacific Islands

Outbreak Alert (South Africa): The South Africa Ministry of Health reports an outbreak of listeriosis encompassing 557 confirmed cases between January 1, 2017 and November 29, 2017. While three provinces are responsible for 82% of the confirmed illnesses, listeriosis cases have been reported across the entire country. Thirty-six people have died in this outbreak so far. The source of the outbreak remains under investigation.

Food Safety Recall (Israel): Noam Guy Import and Marketing Ltd. recalls Anthon Berg Sweet Moments Marzipan Bars (165g; All expiry dates up to and including October 9, 2018) due to pieces of plastic.

Food Safety Recall (Israel): James Richardson company recalls Sweet Moments Marzipan Bar Mini (165 g; All expiry dates up to and including October 9, 2018) due to pieces of plastic.

Food Safety Recall (Israel): Williger Industries Ltd. recalls Delidag brand Smoked Salmon (100g; Best before 30.11.2017) due to Listeria monocytogenes contamination.

Australia and New Zealand

Food Safety Recall (Australia): Aldi recalls Berg Smallgoods American Style Skinless Hot Dogs (375g; All use-by dates up to and including 28/01/18). due to potential microbial contamination and the presence of bone fragments.

Papaya pathogen problems persist

Little appears to have changed since 2011 outbreak, despite efforts of U.S., Mexican governments

The CDC posted this photo with its outbreak notice, describing maradol papayas as large, oval fruits that weigh 3 or more pounds, with green skins that turn yellow when the fruit is ripe. The flesh inside the fruit is salmon-colored. Photo courtesy of CDC

Salmonella — the pathogen behind an ongoing foodborne illness outbreak that has sickened 173 people across 21 states, killing one — is a normal inhabitant of the intestinal tract of many birds, reptiles and mammals.

The possibility that an agricultural product such as papayas may be contaminated with Salmonella is impossible to eradicate; however, the risk of widespread contamination can be controlled through careful attention to current best sanitary practices in the cultivation, harvesting and packing of raw produce. Failure to do so can result in a vicious cycle of contamination in fields, packing houses and the distribution system.

Cultivation, harvesting and packing
The papaya is a fast-growing, tree-like herbaceous plant, which is at home in tropical and semi-tropical climates and is cultivated extensively across southeastern Mexico, according to a report issued by the University of Florida IFAS Extension Service. The most recent report from Mexico’s Secretaría de Agricultura, Ganadería, Desarrollo Rural, Pesca y Alimentación (Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food) shows Mexico to be the fifth largest producer of papayas in the world.

Papaya trees are propagated from seeds. When seedlings are large enough, they are transplanted by hand into growing fields.

The papaya plant is propagated from seeds, with seedlings transplanted into fields when they are of sufficient size. The plant matures in six to nine months in warmer regions. Susceptible to a variety of plant diseases and pests, such as root rot, powdery mildew, papaya ringspot virus, fruit fly and white fly, papaya plants usually have an abbreviated commercial lifespan of two to three years, according to information from the University of Hawaii. It is not unusual for a papaya plant to only produce a single crop in its lifetime.

Once harvested and delivered to the packing house, each papaya is graded according to ripeness and size. Next, the fruit is sorted according to size a second time, as well as shape, and color. It is also examined for insect or mechanical damage.

The sorted fruit is generally washed in large vats of chlorinated tap water to remove dirt, debris and insect contamination. Depending upon the condition of the fruit and the expected final destination, it may be subjected to additional treatments, including a hot water bath or a fungicide dip. After air-drying, the fruit is packed for shipment.

2011 Salmonella Agona outbreak
In 2011, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration investigated a Salmonella Agona outbreak that was traced to contaminated papayas imported from Mexico. The papayas were grown and packed by Agromod SA de CV of Chiapas, Mexico, and distributed by Agromod Produce Inc. of McAllen, Texas.

Photo illustration

The Agromod papaya plantation had an interconnected drainage ditch system, according to information presented in 2013 during the annual educational conference of the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA).

The marsh-like environment of the drainage ditches was a haven for waterfowl, frogs and other wildlife, and provided perfect growth conditions for pathogenic bacteria. During heavy rain and flooding, the ditches overflowed into the soil surrounding the trees, impregnating the soil with pathogens from the water.

During an on-site inspection of Agromod’s plantation and packing house, investigators from FDA recovered a full two dozen different types of Salmonella, including the Salmonella Agona outbreak strain. Salmonella-positive samples were drawn from fields where the papaya grew and from packing-house drains.

The crops at Agromod were harvested by two-person teams. One person worked at tree level, picking fruit and handing or tossing it to the other person below. The second person laid each papaya onto a piece of poly foam on the unprotected soil. The foam was wrapped around the fruit, which was loaded into foam-lined bins for transport to the packing house.

It was common practice at Agromod for the sheets of poly foam to be reused for up to 15 days before being discarded, helping to spread contamination from the fields to the fruit, packing house and back again.

Photo illustration

Once in the packing house, the fruit was washed in large vats of water. The level of chlorine in the wash water was not properly monitored or controlled, allowing Salmonella to spread throughout an entire batch of papayas.

The wash water was discharged into the drainage ditch system, returning Salmonella to the fields in a vicious cycle of contamination.

Import Alert
In response to the extent of Salmonella contamination brought to light during the investigation of the 2011 outbreak, FDA instituted Import Alert #21-17, “Countrywide Detention Without Physical Examination Of Papaya From Mexico.” Firms that provided documentation of five consecutive Salmonella-negative commercial shipments qualified for an exemption from the automatic detention at the U.S. border.

Concurrent with FDA’s initiation of the Import Alert, Mexico’s Servicio Nacional de Sanidad, Inocuidad y Calidad Agroalimentaria (National Service for Health, Safety and Agrifood Quality) (SENASICA ) unveiled a plan to assist that country’s papaya growers, packers and shippers in addressing the issues of safe growing and handling of the fruit.

History repeats
Notwithstanding the efforts of multiple agencies in both countries, the United States is once again in the throes of an outbreak of Salmonella that is associated with consumption of fresh, whole papayas imported from Mexico.

To view a larger version of the map on the CDC’s website, please click on the image.

As of Aug. 18 when the CDC posted it’s most recent outbreak update, 173 people had been confirmed sick across 21 states, with 58 hospitalizations, and one death on New York City. The CDC warns that the number of confirmed illnesses is likely to increase.

Thus far FDA has identified one farm in connection with the contaminated papaya. That farm, Carica de Campeche, has been supplying papayas to the U.S. market under an Import Alert exemption since 2015.

According to a spokesperson from FDA, at present there are no specific ongoing testing or inspection requirements that a producer must meet in order to maintain an exemption from automatic detention, although a firm is expected to “… continue to provide the commodity in a wholesome manner and follow all the regulatory requirements of FDA.”

The FDA revoked the exemption granted to Carica de Campeche under Import Alert 21-17 on Aug. 7.

This article first appeared in Food Safety News and is reposted here with permission.