More Recalls Due to Salmonella in Valley Milk Products
As reported earlier, environmental swabs collected during the FDA inspection (July-September 2016) of Valley Milk, confirmed the presence of Salmonella meleagridis on food contact surfaces (used after product pasteurization) of dry nonfat milk powder and buttermilk powder packaged in 40 and 50 pound bags.
The powder milk and buttermilk from Valley Milk were not sold directly to consumers, but rather used as ingredients in a number of food products. Numerous companies used Valley Milk powdered milk and buttermilk and consequently their products were recalled causing a ripple effect.
FDA advised the companies that purchased Valley Milk products that they need to take action if they were using the recalled ingredients in ready-to-eat product where there was no FDA-recognized kill step or inactivation in their processing system. In the initial wave of recalls 8 companies were involved. As we all predicted, more companies are recalling their products due to Salmonella in Valley Milk products. It is interesting to note that some of the recalled products have been in the market for several months. No illnesses have been reported due to the consumption of any of these products.
Second Wave of Recalls
Ron’s Home Style Foods, Inc. recalled Tropical Fruit Supreme, Pineapple Nut Delight, and Pistachio Crème. The products were distributed in Texas, Arkansas, and Oklahoma to foodservice distributors and retail supermarkets. While Pistachio Crème does not contain the ingredient, it is made on the same production line as Tropical Fruit Supreme and Pineapple Nut Delight therefore the company recalled it as well.
Stonewall Kitchen recalled Stonewall Kitchen Cinnamon Apple, Orange Cranberry and Toasted Coconut and Pancake & Waffle Mixes. Although no pathogenic bacteria were found in the powdered products supplied to Stonewall Kitchen by Valley Milk, nor in any of the Stonewall Kitchen pancake & waffle mixes themselves, the company decided to recall the products out of an abundance of caution.
New Hope Mills expended its 12/12/16 voluntary recall for one additional code of its New Hope Mills Crepe MIX.
Old Dutch Foods Inc. of St. Paul, MN recalled a limited number of Flavored Potato Chip and Tortilla Chip products that were made with milk ingredients supplied by one of its secondary seasoning component suppliers Valley Milk Products.
The product was distributed nationwide through grocery and other retail stores. Although no lab tests have confirmed the presence of Salmonella in these products and no illnesses have been reported, the company recalled these products in abundance of caution.
Poppies International, of Battleboro, NC recalled all products that were made with custard powder containing affected milk ingredients supplied by a secondary supplier, Valley Milk Products. Again no Salmonella was found in any of the ingredients or products. The products included in the recall were sold through retail stores.
Williams-Sonoma of San Francisco, CA recalled limited quantities of Williams-Sonoma Meyer Lemon Poppy Seed Quick Bread due to the powdered milk product supplied by Valley Milk. The products were shipped to Williams-Sonoma retail stores nationwide from August 2016-present.
Houdini Inc. of Fullerton, CA recalled limited quantities of Blue Cheese Savory Twists, 7 oz box. Valley Milk supplied the powdered buttermilk used to make the Blue Cheese seasoning in these products by Savory Twist seasoning supplier. Pathogens were not found in Blue Cheese Savory Twists themselves.
A limited quantity of products were distributed nationwide to consumers through Houdini Inc.’s direct to consumer division Wine Country Gift Baskets (catalog / internet) and Houdini Inc’s wholesale division. This recall only affects the 7oz Blue Cheese Savory Twist in gift baskets shipped or sold in stores from September 1, 2016 to December 12, 2016.
H-E-B San Antonio, TX – In cooperation with Dawn Food Products, announced that it has issued a voluntary recall for certain bakery products made with Valley Milk Products. The products were made in stores with Valley Milk High Heat Nonfat Dry Milk Powder, supplied by Dawn Foods. The recall affects product sold in H-E-B and Mi Tienda in-store bakeries in Texas and Mexico.
Snyder of Berlin, PA recalled Buffalo Blue Kettle Cooked Potato Chips, after being notified by their supplier that milk powder used within a spice blend ingredient may contain Salmonella. The recalled product was distributed only in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, Maryland, New York, and Tennessee.
This incident raises a number of questions:
- It is interesting to note that at least some of the recalled products were in commerce for several months before the recall with no single report of illness due to the consumption of the products. Therefore, one should pose the question if the products were contaminated in the first place.
- A number of users’ laboratories tested the products and did not recover any pathogens. Were the products contaminated? If they were why so many laboratories failed to detect it?
- Why did it take almost 5 months to issue a recall? If the products were indeed dangerous to the public, the recall time frame was very long.
I would welcome your comments.