Chips, Dips, Salad Dressings, Hot Dogs Tainted With Salmonella
March 5, 2010
(ChattahBox)—Our nation’s food regulators have provided us with grim news, as many Americans are about to stock up on groceries this weekend. A food flavoring, called hydrolyzed vegetable protein, which is used in just about EVERY type of processed food product has been found to be tainted with salmonella bacteria. No known illnesses have been reported, but a voluntary recall of food products made with the flavoring manufactured, by a Nevada company is in effect and could expand in the weeks ahead.
The hydrolyzed vegetable protein contaminated with salmonella is manufactured by Basic Food Flavors Inc. of Las Vegas, Nevada. The private company is recalling all hydrolyzed vegetable protein in powder and paste form that it has produced since September 17, 2009. The FDA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Agriculture Department are working with Nevada state health officials to contain any outbreak.
The flavoring is used in such products, as soups, sauces, hot dogs, gravy, snack foods, dressings and dips. Some companies have already recalled foods ranging from dips, potato chips, dressings, tofu, burritos and pasta. T. Marzetti, a popular maker of dips has recalled many of its products, as well as Trader Joe’s Organic Creamy Ranch Dressing & Dip and Hawaiian brand kettle style potato chips.
FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg told reporters that the risk of illness was very low and so far, no consumers have reported getting sick from products containing the flavoring. “At this time there are no known illnesses associated with this contamination and obviously we’d like to keep it that way,” said Hamburg.
But Dr. Jeff Farrar, associate commissioner for food safety at FDA’s Office of Foods expects the recalls to expand, as manufacturers realize they have products containing the flavoring originating from the Nevada company. “We expect this to get larger over the next several days, actually several weeks,” Farrar said.
Salmonella can cause severe illness in the very young, very old and frail.
A complete list of all of the food products recalled to date, can be found here.