Recalls and Alerts: October 1 – 3, 2020

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

OUTBREAK ALERT: CDC reports 13 cases of Salmonella Muenster infections in 8 states linked to pet bearded dragons. Seven people have been hospitalized.

OUTBREAK ALERT: CDC reports 32 cases of Salmonella Typhimurium infections in 17 states linked to pet hedgehogs. Five people have been hospitalized.

Food Safety Alert: The Rhode Island Department of Health warns the public to avoid juices, smoothies, and sea moss gel purchased from Health is Wealth Nutrition Center located at 1674 Cranston Street in Cranston because inadequate processing of these products has made them susceptible to contamination with Clostridium botulinum.

Food Safety Recall: Country Fresh recalls a limited quantity of watermelon chunks from select Walmart and RaceTrac stores due to potential Listeria monocytogenes contamination. Please refer to the recall notice for a complete list of affected products.

Canada

OUTBREAK ALERT FINAL UPDATE: PHAC reports that the Salmonella Newport outbreak linked to red onions imported from the United States appears to be over. Between mid-June and late August, there were 515 confirmed cases of salmonellosis in British Columbia (121), Alberta (293), Saskatchewan (35), Manitoba (26), Ontario (14), Quebec (25) and Prince Edward Island (1). Seventy-nine individuals were hospitalized and three people died, but Salmonella did not contribute to the cause of these deaths, according to PHAC.

Food Safety Recall Update: Sunsprout Natural Foods recalls Sunsprout brand Micro – Greens, Alfalfa (100g; All best before dates up to and including BBOCT13; UPC 0 57621 13511 6) due to possible Salmonella contamination. This recall notice has been update to indicate that the recalled product was distributed in Nova Scotia.

Europe

Allergy Alert (Germany): Günthart & Co. KG recalls Blüten, dunkle Schokolade 3D / Dark chocolate flowers (Best before 13.12.2021) due to undeclared casein and lactose.

Allergy Alert (Iceland): Stjörnufugli recalls Stjörnufugl Sous vide kjúklingabringur, Hvítlaukspipar Parmesan / Starbird Sous vide Chicken Breast, Garlic Parmesan (All Best before dates up to 15.11.20) due to undeclared egg.

Food Safety Recall (Austria): Hans Adler OHG recalls Dulano Delikatess Lyoner, strips (2 x 200g; Lot #230920LYG M: 2 246 with time stamps of 08:40:00 to 13:00: 00; Best before 23 September 2020) due to Listeria monocytogenes contamination.

Food Safety Recall Update (Belgium): Sequoia recalls Le picoreur brand Cuisse de poulet fermier bio BLC / Organic chicken leg (Best before 27, 28 & 30/09/20 – Lot #25801101 and Best before 5/10/2020 – Lot #26501501) due to Salmonella contamination.

Food Safety Recall Update (Belgium): Deliflanders recalls various varieties of Sola brand Fuet Extra due to Salmonella contamination. Please refer to the recall notice for a complete list of affected products.

Food Safety Recall (Belgium): Chasal srl recalls various varieties of Sola brand Fuet Extra due to Salmonella contamination. Please refer to the recall notice for a complete list of affected products.

Food Safety Recall (Germany): Hans Adler OHG recalls Dulano Delikatess Lyoner, strips (2 x 200g; Lot #230920LYG M: 2 246 with time stamps of 08:40:00 to 13:00: 00; Best before 23 September 2020) due to Listeria monocytogenes contamination.

Food Safety Recall (Germany): GARTENFRISCH Jung GmbH recalls Gut&Günstig Salatmischung Blattsalat Mix / salad mix (150g; Best before 05.10.2020) due to shigatoxin-producing E. coli.

Food Safety Recall (Germany): PICO Food GmbH recalls certain Feine Sterne baked goods due to foreign matter (metal pieces) contamination. Please refer to the recall notice for a complete list of affected products.

Food Safety Recall (Luxembourg): AUCHAN recalls Barquette de 3 escalopes de dinde Halal / Halal turkey cutlets (3-pack; Lot #0340068875; Best before02/10/2020 & 04/10/2020) due to possible Salmonella contamination.

Food Safety Recall (Netherlands): Albert Heijn recalls AH runderhamburger / beef burger (2-pack; Expiry date 25 september 2020) due to E. coli contamination.

Thomson Onion Salmonella Outbreak: Is CDC Missing in Action?

On July 21, 2020, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) informed the public of an outbreak of Salmonella Newport infections.

On July 24th, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) informed the public of an outbreak of Salmonella Newport infections apparently caused by the same outbreak strain as CDC was finding in the United States.

At the time of the initial reports, neither agency had determined the source of the outbreak.

On July 30th, PHAC updated its outbreak advisory, informing Canadians that the outbreak was linked to consumtion of red onions imported from the United States. That same day, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) posted a recall notice for red onions imported by Sysco in Western Canada.

Using the Canadian data as its starting point, on July 31st, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and CDC announced that the US outbreak was linked to consumption of red onions produced by Thomson International, Inc. of Bakersfield, California.

Thomson International is a family-owned business, incorporated in California.

On August 1st, Thomson recalled its entire harvest of red, yellow, white, and sweet yellow onions from the 2020 growing season – approximately 18,750 tons of onions. The onions were distributed across the United States and exported to Canada.

CDC issued status updates of the size and scope of the US outbreak on August 3rd, August 7th, August 18th and September 1st, and has not been heard from since.

PHAC issued status updates of the size and scope of the Canadian outbreak on August 2nd, August 7th, August 14th, August 21st, August 31st and September 14th.

By August 7th, FDA had initiated its on-site investigation of Thomson’s Bakersfield facility, looking for the source of the Salmonella Newport contamination. By August 11th, FDA personnel had submitted 370 samples to the agency’s lab for Salmonella testing, including 278 swab samples, 82 onion samples, and 10 miscellaneous environmental samples, according to information obtained by eFoodAlert in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.

Not a single sample contained Salmonella.

The FDA investigation is still in progress. However, with the growing season complete and the packing plant idle, the chances of finding the source of the Salmonella Newport diminish day by day.

As of the last report from CDC, 1012 individuals in 47 states have been infected with Salmonella Newport as a result of having consumed contaminated onions. Only Louisiana, Oklahoma and Vermont have not reported any outbreak cases. Although there have been no deaths associated with this outbreak, 136 (more than 13%) of the victims have required a hospital stay.

In Canada, there have been 506 confirmed cases of Salmonella Newport in seven provinces, and 71 people (14%) have been hospitalized.

Canada v. USA – A Performance Comparison

Why was CDC unable to determine the link between red onions and the Salmonella Newport outbreak until after PHAC had made the connection?

Why has CDC not provided an update to its outbreak status report in three weeks?

Why does Canada appear to have been much harder hit by this outbreak than the United States – 13.7 cases per million Canadians versus only 3.1 per million Americans? Is this due to some quirk of distribution, or have PHAC and its provincial partners done a better job of reporting than CDC and the various state health agencies?

Has the Covid-19 pandemic hit CDC so hard that it no longer has the resources to follow-up on illness outbreaks elsewhere?

 

IF CDC IS MISSING IN ACTION, WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR THE HEALTH AND SAFETY OF THE US POPULATION?

 

 

Recalls and Alerts: September 13 – 16, 2020

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

REGULATORY ACTION UNDER FDA PRODUCE SAFETY RULE: FDA announces a consent decree of permanent injunction against Fortune Food Product, Inc., an Illinois-based processor of sprouts and soy products. The consent decree prohibits Fortune Food Product, Inc. from growing, harvesting, packing and holding sprouts and soy products at or from their facility, or any other facility, until certain requirements are met. The consent decree requires the defendants to, among other things, take corrective actions and notify the FDA before such operations may resume.

Allergy Alert: Willow Tree Poultry Farm, Inc. recalls Willow Tree Premium White Meat CHICKEN SALAD Classic (15 oz; Sell by 9/30/20 and a time stamp of 13:00:00 through 17:00:00) due to undeclared walnuts.

Canada

OUTBREAK ALERT UPDATE: PHAC reports 506 confirmed cases of Salmonella Newport illness linked to onions in British Columbia (116), Alberta (292), Saskatchewan (34), Manitoba (25), Ontario (14), Quebec (24) and Prince Edward Island (1). The onions were produced by Thomson International, Inc. (Bakersfield, California) and imported into Canada.

Food Safety Recall: Poissonnerie Québec Océan recalls three products due to lack of required labeling regarding mandatory refrigeration. Please refer to the recall notice for a list of affected products.

Europe

Allergy Alert (Iceland): Matvælastofnun alerts the public that Bónus Kjarnabrauði bread (Best before 15.09.2020) contains undeclared lupines.

Allergy Alert (Italy): Shankara Bulgaria ltd recalls GIUSTO Senza Glutine brand COOKIE AVENA MIRTILLI ROSSI E CIOCCOLATO / Oat cookies with cranberries and chocolate (50g; Lot No./Best before 03-05-2021) due to undeclared soy.

Allergy Alert (Italy): Shankara Bulgaria ltd recalls GIUSTO Senza Glutine brand COOKIE AVENA COCCO ARANCIA / Oat cookies with orange and coconut (50g; Lot No./Best before 23-04-2021) due to undeclared soy.

Allergy Alert (Luxembourg): Industry recalls TARTICHOC brand Pâte à tartiner au chocolat fondant (Best before 05/2021 to 08/2021) and TARTICHOC brand Pâte à tartiner au chocolat lait (Best before 05/2021 to 07/2021) due to undeclared hazelnuts.

Allergy Alert (UK): SPAR recalls SPAR Pesto Chicken Breast Sizzlers (330g; Batch codes 110920016 & 140920026; Use by 22 September 2020 & 23 September 2020, respectively) due to undeclared egg.

Food Safety Recall (Belgium): WESTVLEES recalls Carrefour bio brand BIO AMERICAIN NATURE / raw ground meat (250g; Lot 637; Expiry date 20/09/2020) due to Listeria monocytogenes contamination.

Food Safety Recall (Belgium): Delikip Bv recalls pilons de poulet marinés / marinated chicken legs (4 pieces / 4.2-4.8 kg; Lot #11092020; Best before 18/09/2020) due to possible Salmonella contamination.

Food Safety Recall (France): La Fromagerie du Pays Welsche recalls La Fromagerie du Pays Welsche brand Munster fermier AOP traditionnel / Traditional Munster cheese (Lot #A189; Best before 15/09/2020) due to Listeria monocytogenes contamination.

Food Safety Recall (Ireland): James O’Brien Farmhouse Cheese recalls All cheeses produced or cut by James O’Brien Farmhouse Cheese including brie, cheddar, feta, gouda and halloumi (all batches and ‘best before’ dates) due to Listeria monocytogenes contamination.

Food Safety Recall (Italy): Sicily Food SRL recalls UNES brand SALMONE NORVEGESE AFFUMICATO / Norwegian smoked salmon (50g; Lot #SA75-22620; Best before 22-09-2020) due to Listeria monocytogenes contamination.