Recalls and Alerts: October 8 – 10, 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.

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United States

OUTBREAK ALERT (Minnesota): Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) reports 9 cases of Salmonella Paratyphi B infections in the state linked to the NéktƏr Juice Bar in Woodbury, MN. Two people have been hospitalized. Health officials say anyone who is experiencing severe symptoms of salmonellosis after consuming menu items from NéktƏr should talk to their health care provider.

OUTBREAK ALERT FINAL UPDATE: CDC reports a total of 1,127 confirmed cases of Salmonella Newport infections and 167 hospitalizations in 48 states. The illness outbreak was linked to red onions from Thomson International, Inc., of Bakersfield, California. FDA, CDC and state investigators have found various Salmonella strains in multiple Thomson International Inc. locations and surrounding areas. The root cause investigation is on-going.

Public Health Alert: FSIS issuesa public health alert for ready-to-eat (RTE) meat and poultry bowl products, produced by Taylor Farms in Dallas, Texas on Oct 5 and Oct 6, 2020, due to concerns that the products may be contaminated with extraneous material, specifically glass. No recall was requested, as it is believed that the products are no longer available for consumers to purchase. Please refer to the Alert for a complete list of affected products.

Allergy Alert: B&G Foods recalls Back to Nature Organic Rosemary & Olive Oil Stoneground Wheat Crackers (6 oz; Best by APR 25 2021; UPC 8-19898-01015-8) due to undeclared peanut.

Pet Food Safety Recall Update: Sunshine Mills, Inc. recalls certain Champ®, Field Trial®, Good Dog, Hunter’s Special®, Old Glory®, Paws Happy Life®, Pet Expert, Principle, Retriever®, River Bend, Sportsman’s Pride®, Sprout®, Thrifty®, Top Runner® or Whiskers & Tails products that were made with corn that contained Aflatoxin at levels above FDA’s action levels. This is an expansion of an earlier recall. Please refer to the FDA Alert for a consolidated list of recalled products.

Canada

Food Safety Recall: Hilly Acres Farm recalls eggs with best before dates from September 2, 2020 to October 31, 2020 inclusively where the lot code contains “38” or “N38” or where there is no lot code on the package due to possible Salmonella contamination. Please refer to the recall notice for a complete list of affected products, which were distributed in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador. The recall was triggered by the company’s own test results.

Food Safety Recall: Au Palais sucré recalls certain soups and sauces that were prepared, packaged or stored under conditions that could render the items unsafe for human consumption. Please refer to the recall notice for a complete list of affected products.

Food Safety Recall: Griffith Foods Ltd. recalls various Griffith Foods brand seasonings and sauces due to Salmonella contamination. Please refer to the recall notice for a complete list of affected products.

Europe

Allergy Alert (Belgium): Colruyt recalls Boni Selection houmous mangue-coco / mango-coconut hummus (150g; Use by 27/10/2020) due to undeclared sesame.

Allergy Alert (France): Lidl recalls several batch codes of Select & Go brand Salade Buddha Bowl Chèvre / goat cheese salad bowl due to undeclared peanut. Please refer to the recall notice for a complete list of affected batch codes.

Allergy Alert Update (Ireland): Industry recalls Dunkin Boston Kreme Donuts (148g 2-pack; All date codes) due to undeclared egg, gluten (wheat), milk, nuts (almond, hazelnut, pistachio nut), and soya in the English labeling.

Allergy Alert (Luxembourg): Colruyt recalls Boni Selection houmous mangue-coco / mango-coconut hummus (150g; Use by 27/10/2020) due to undeclared sesame.

Allergy Alert (Netherlands): Lidl recalls Ons & Pond dropstaafjes / licorice bars (250g; Expiry date 11-02-2022) due to undeclared wheat (glluten).

Allergy Alert (UK – Northern Ireland specific): North South Retail recalls Dunkin Boston Kreme Donuts (148g 2-pack; All date codes) due to undeclared egg, gluten (wheat), milk, nuts (almond, hazelnut, pistachio nut), and soya in the English labeling.

Food Safety Recall (Belgium): La Ferme Fromagère de Chertin recalls Boulette de Chertin fromage au lait cru écrémé de vache / skimmed raw cow’s milk cheese (200g; Best before 10.10.2020, 15.10.2020, 18.10.2020, 20.10.2020, 01.11.2020, 05.11.2020, 10.11.2020) due to Listeria monocytogenes contamination.

Food Safety Recall (Denmark): Amanda Seafoods A/S recalls Bornholms Hummersuppe / Lobster soup (375g; Production date 03-04-2020; Time stamps 1432 to 1637) due to inadequate heat processing.

Food Safety Recall (France): La Brasserie Licorne recalls Jalisco brand Bière saveur tequila RED / tequila-flavoured beer (3 x 33 cl; Expiry date 17/10/21) due to foreign matter (glass fragments) contamination.

Food Safety Recall (Germany): Firma Dr. Schröter Feinkost GmbH recalls Mühlenhof Delikatess Kräuterfleischsalat / delicatessen herb meat salad (Best before 24.10.2020) due to foreign matter (transparent pieces of plastic) contamination.

Food Safety Recall (Germany): Teaflower Marktstand Shuster Viktualienmarkt recalls Teaflower Teufelskralle gemahlen / ground devil’s claw (200g; Expiry date 10.22) due to Salmonella contamination.

Food Safety Recall (Italy): CASEIFICIO CEIRANO – VILLOSIO SRL recalls CASEIFICIO CEIRANO – VILLOSIO SRL brand RASCHERA DOP cheese (Lot code 06-06-2020; Best before 09-11-2020) due to Salmonella Brandenburg contamination.

Asia, Africa and the Pacific Islands

Pet Food Safety Recall Update: Sunshine Mills, Inc. recalls certain Champ®, Field Trial®, Good Dog, Hunter’s Special®, Old Glory®, Paws Happy Life®, Pet Expert, Principle, Retriever®, River Bend, Sportsman’s Pride®, Sprout®, Thrifty®, Top Runner® or Whiskers & Tails products that were made with corn that contained Aflatoxin at levels above FDA’s action levels. This is an expansion of an earlier recall. Please refer to the FDA Alert for a consolidated list of recalled products. Some of the recalled products were supplied to a distributor in Jordan.

Australia and New Zealand

Allergy Alert (New Zealand): Bin Inn Kapiti recalls Air Popped Buckwheat Seeds (Bullk bins; All batches and dates sold up to and including 9 October 2020) due to undeclared gluten.

Food Safety Recall (New Zealand): Foodstuffs Own Brands Ltd recalls Value Brand Viva Italia Chopped Tomatoes in Juice (400g cans; Batch codes SMS1 J213, TTA1 J214, TTA1 J215, TTA1 J217) due to foreign matter (stones) contamination.

Latin America and the Caribbean

Pet Food Safety Recall Update: Sunshine Mills, Inc. recalls certain Champ®, Field Trial®, Good Dog, Hunter’s Special®, Old Glory®, Paws Happy Life®, Pet Expert, Principle, Retriever®, River Bend, Sportsman’s Pride®, Sprout®, Thrifty®, Top Runner® or Whiskers & Tails products that were made with corn that contained Aflatoxin at levels above FDA’s action levels. This is an expansion of an earlier recall. Please refer to the FDA Alert for a consolidated list of recalled products. Some of the recalled products were supplied to a distributor in Colombia.

Lax testing practices resulted in vitamin D overdoses in Hill’s and Sunshine Mills pet food


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

Toxic levels of vitamin D in Hill’s Pet Nutrition (Hill’s) canned pet foods and Sunshine Mills (Sunshine) dry pet foods could have been prevented, had both companies followed their own food safety plans.

According to information obtained by Food Safety News in response to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, Hill’s identified Vitamin Premix as a ‘high risk’ chemical hazard and required that the ingredient “…be analyzed and be within acceptable limits prior to unloading … into the manufacturing facility.”

The company was unable to provide analytical test results for Vitamin Premixes during a February 2019 inspection.

The inspection was undertaken by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in response to the January 31, 2019 Hill’s recall of canned pet foods due to excess levels of vitamin D.

Tests conducted on a retained sample of the premix revealed a level of vitamin D that was roughly 30 times the target range for this ingredient. As of February 11, 2019, the company acknowledged having received 85 consumer complaints reporting pet deaths.

The number of complaints received by the company has increased substantially since that date, according to information supplied to FDA by Hill’s in response to FDA’s inspection observations.

FDA declined to comment on the number of pet deaths. According to an agency spokesperson, FDA is still in the process of verifying details of the complaints it has received, and considers it would be “…premature to release a number until the cases have been vetted to ensure they are all related to recalled product and are indeed cases of vitamin D toxicity.”

Hill’s cited a manufacturing error on the part of its vitamin premix supplier as the cause for the excessive vitamin D levels in its canned pet foods. The company is reevaluating and strengthening its specifications, including requiring a Certificate of Analysis for each incoming shipment of vitamin and trace mineral premixes.

In December 2018, FDA issued an alert to pet owners regarding a series of dry dog food recalls for excessive vitamin D levels. As reported by Food Safety News, FDA received a total of six dog illness reports associated with the recalled products.

The dry dog foods were manufactured by Sunshine Mills and sold under several brand names.

An ordering error by a Sunshine employee caused the wrong Vitamin D ingredient to be shipped to the company.

According to FDA, Sunshine did not follow its own written procedures for receiving ingredients. The company neither obtained a Certificate of Analysis for the ingredient, nor conducted its own testing to determine whether the Vitamin D it received was the correct concentration for use in dog food.

The error resulted in a level of Vitamin D in the finished dog foods of as much as 70 times the target amount.

Sunshine was notified on October 23, 2018 about a consumer complaint reporting an ill dog that had eaten one of the company’s dry dog foods. Sunshine investigated the complaint and concluded on November 2nd that it was valid.

FDA requires validated complaints to be reported within 24 hours; however, Sunshine did not submit a ‘reportable food report’ to FDA until six days later, on November 8, 2018.

Although the sources of elevated vitamin D were different in these two situations, the course of events was similar.

  • Both Hill’s and Sunshine took delivery of an ingredient that was substantially higher in vitamin D than specified for the purpose.
  • Both Hill’s and Sunshine had written procedures in place for receiving raw materials, and these procedures mandated testing for vitamin D concentration.
  • Neither Hill’s nor Sunshine carried out the lab analysis mandated in their written procedures.
  • Neither Hill’s nor Sunshine required a Certificate of Analysis for their Vitamin D ingredient or premixes.
  • Had Hill’s and Sunshine followed their own written procedures, the incorrect vitamin D ingredient concentration would have been found before the ingredient was used.

FDA’s investigation into Hill’s is ongoing, according to an agency spokesperson.

FDA offers the following information regarding vitamin D toxicity to pet owners and veterinarians.

  • If your pet is having symptoms of vitamin D toxicity, contact a veterinarian immediately. Provide a full diet history to your veterinarian. You may find it helpful to take a picture of the pet food label, including the lot number.
  • Don’t feed the recalled products to your pets or any other animal. Contact the company listed on the package for further instructions or throw the products away in a way that children, pets and wildlife cannot access them.
  • Consumers can report suspected illness to the FDA electronically through the Safety Reporting Portal or by calling your state’s FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinators. It’s most helpful if you can work with your veterinarian to submit your pet’s medical records as part of your report. For an explanation of the information and level of detail that would be helpful to include in a complaint to the FDA, please see How to Report a Pet Food Complaint.
  • The FDA encourages veterinarians treating vitamin D toxicity to ask their clients for a diet history. We also welcome case reports, especially those confirmed through diagnostics. You can submit these reports electronically through the Safety Reporting Portal or by calling your state’s FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinators. For an explanation of the information and level of detail that would be helpful to include in a complaint to the FDA, please see How to Report a Pet Food Complaint.
  •  Veterinarians should also be aware that vitamin D toxicity may present as hypercalcemia, similar to dogs that have consumed rodenticide. In these cases, FDA suggests that veterinarians confirm diet history to verify whether the dog has been eating any of the recalled products.

For a comprehensive list of Hill’s Pet Nutrition canned pet foods recalled due to excessive Vitamin D, please visit Hill’s Pet Nutrition recalls: Country-by-country breakdown on eFoodAlert

Dogs reported sick; Kroger, King Soopers pull Abound brand from stores


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

Retail supermarket chains King Soopers and Kroger’s Louisville Division are removing certain Abound dry dog food from their store shelves following a product recall initiated by Sunshine Mills Inc.

The recalled pet food has the potential to contain an elevated level of vitamin D, which can produce symptoms of vomiting, loss of appetite, increased thirst, increased urination, excessive drooling, and weight loss in dogs. In extreme cases, ingestion of food containing elevated vitamin D may result in kidney failure.

On Dec. 3, the Food and Drug Administration issued a public alert about the potential for elevated vitamin D levels in several brands of dry pet foods produced by “a common contract manufacturer.” King Soopers and Kroger identified Sunshine Mills Inc. as the manufacturer in their recall notices.

FDA received two pet illness complaints in mid- to late October and initiated an investigation at that time, according to an agency spokesperson. In late October, FDA was alerted to a similar investigation being carried out by the state of Utah.

As of Dec. 3, the FDA has received a total of six dog illness reports associated with the recalled products. The investigation is ongoing, and the number of illnesses may change.

FDA, state and private lab tests have revealed that the pet food contained as much as 70 times the intended amount of vitamin D. Consumers are warned that these levels of vitamin D are potentially toxic to dogs and may lead to kidney failure and/or death.

The products recalled by King Soopers and Kroger include:

  • Abound Chicken and Brown Rice Recipe Dog food, 4 lb. Best by November 1, 2018 through November 16, 2019; UPC 11110-83556
  • Abound Chicken and Brown Rice Recipe Dog food, 14 lb. Best by November 1, 2018 through November 16, 2019; UPC 11110-83573
  • Abound Chicken and Brown Rice Recipe Dog food, 24 lb. Best by November 1, 2018 through November 16, 2019; UPC 11110-89076

All three package sizes were sold in King Soopers and City Market stores in Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Wyoming. The 4-pound size was sold in a single Kroger store at 2440 Bardstown Road in Louisville, KY.

FDA offers the following recommendations to pet owners and veterinarians.

  • If your pet is having symptoms of vitamin D toxicity, contact a veterinarian immediately. Provide a full diet history to your veterinarian. You may find it helpful to take a picture of the pet food label, including the lot number.
  • Don’t feed the recalled products to your pets or any other animal. Contact the company listed on the package for further instructions or throw the products away in a way that children, pets and wildlife cannot access them.
  • Consumers can report suspected illness to the FDA electronically through the Safety Reporting Portal or by calling your state’s FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinators. It’s most helpful if you can work with your veterinarian to submit your pet’s medical records as part of your report. For an explanation of the information and level of detail that would be helpful to include in a complaint to the FDA, please see How to Report a Pet Food Complaint.
  • The FDA encourages veterinarians treating vitamin D toxicity to ask their clients for a diet history. We also welcome case reports, especially those confirmed through diagnostics. You can submit these reports electronically through the Safety Reporting Portal or by calling your state’s FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinators. For an explanation of the information and level of detail that would be helpful to include in a complaint to the FDA, please see How to Report a Pet Food Complaint.
  • Veterinarians should also be aware that vitamin D toxicity may present as hypercalcemia, similar to dogs that have consumed rodenticide. In these cases, FDA suggests that veterinarians confirm diet history to verify whether the dog has been eating any of the recalled products.

For additional coverage of the recent Sunshine pet food recalls, please see:

Sunshine recalls three more dog food brands for excess vitamin D; distribution international”
“Sunshine Mills recalls additional dog foods for excess vitamin D”