This is Public Health

Three Soda Bottles

The Food and Drug Administration is reviewing the safety of caramel colorings used in a variety of foods, including colas and other dark soft drinks, to determine whether the agency should act to limit consumers’ exposure to a chemical created during the manufacturing process.

The agency’s announcement came in response to a Consumer Report investigation that prompted the watchdog group Consumers Union to call for limits on 4-methyliminazole, or 4-Mel, an impurity produced in the production of some caramel colorings, as well as for labeling of products containing caramel coloring.

Click here to read the full story.

Ground Beef 2

“Supermarket chains Winn-Dixie and Bi-Lo are recalling some ground beef because of the risk that the meat has been contaminated with E. coli.

The chains announced the recall Thursday as part of a larger ground beef recall issued by the National Beef Packing Company.

E. coli can cause diarrhea, dehydration and potentially kidney failure.

Winn-Dixie is immediately recalling the affected Fresh 93 Percent Lean Ground Beef from all stores in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi. The product was shipped to stores around July 18.

Bi-Lo is recalling the same product from its shelves in all stores in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

Neither has received reports of any related illnesses.

Consumers can bring the product to the store for a refund.”

Story Credit: Associated Press. Click here to view it on WVUE-TV’s website.

Kellogg is recalling boxes of Mini-Wheats cereal due to the “unlikely but possible presence of fragments of flexible metal mesh from a faulty manufacturing part,” according to the company.

The recall covers roughly  282,000 cases of Frosted Mini-Wheats Bite Size Original and Mini-Wheats Unfrosted Bite Size cereal with the letters KB, AP or FK before or after the best-before date. Most of the recalled products are cereal boxes, but some are single-serving bowls.

Click here to read more.

New Mexico-based Sunland Inc. has expanded its recall of peanut butter and almond butter to include cashew butters, tahini and blanched and roasted peanut products. The company, which sells its nuts and nut butters to large groceries and other food distributors around the country, recalled products under multiple brand names last month after salmonella illnesses were linked to Trader Joe’s Creamy Salted Valencia Peanut Butter, one of the brands it manufactures.

In addition to Trader Joe’s, the recall over the past week has included some nut butters and nut products sold at Whole Foods Market, Target, Safeway, Fresh & Easy, Harry and David, Sprouts, Heinen’s, Stop & Shop Supermarket Company, Giant Food of Landover, Md., and several other stores. Some of those retailers used Sunland ingredients in items they prepared and packaged themselves.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there have been 30 salmonella illnesses in 19 states that can be traced to the Trader Joe’s peanut butter. No other foods have been linked to the illnesses, but Sunland recalled other products manufactured on the same equipment as the Trader Joe’s product.

Some of the brand names included in the recall are Target’s Archer Farms, Safeway’s Open Nature, Earth Balance, Fresh & Easy, Late July, Heinen’s, Joseph’s, Natural Value, Naturally More, Peanut Power Butter, Serious Food, Snaclite Power, Sprouts Farmers Market, Sprouts, Sunland and Dogsbutter.

Sunland’s recall includes 101 products, and several retailers have issued additional recalls including items made with Sunland ingredients.

Read the full story on WWL-TV by clicking here.

Winn-Dixie Recalls Gummy Bears

December 14th, 2011

Winn-Dixie Stores is voluntarily recalling Sunrise Assorted Flavor Gummy Bears sold in the self-serve bulk area of one store in Covington and five in Florida due to a possible metal contamination. The candy was sold between Nov. 14 and Dec. 13.

The Covington store that sold the gummy bears is located at 70431 Hwy. 21.

The recall is being initiated out of an abundance of caution for consumer safety, though the company has received no reports of illness associated with consumption of the candy.

Check out the full story in the Times-Picayune here.


Three types of Spaghettios with meatballs have been recalled by Campbell Soup Company because the meat may be under processed. The affected varieties are Spaghettios with Meatballs, Spaghettios A to Z with Meatballs, and Spaghettios Fun Shapes with Meatballs with shapes from the movie Cars. All three have the code EST4K and a “use by” date between June 2010 and December 2011 printed on the bottom of the can. Consumers are adivsed not to eat the recalled Spaghettios and to return them to the store where they were purchased. Read more.

ConAgra Foods has recalled Marie Callender’s Cheesy Chicken and Rice frozen meals because they may be infected with Salmonella. 29 cases of infection have already been reported in 14 states. The recall is for meals sold nationwide, regardless of production date. Consumers are advised to discard the recalled products or return them to the store where they were purchased. Read more.


Chiquita Brands International is conducting a voluntary recall of its Fresh Express brand of Romaine lettuce-based ready-to-eat salads due to potential Salmonella contamination. Louisiana and several other states are included in this recall. Consumers are advised to discard any of the recalled lettuce products that carry a Use by Date that falls between May 13th and May 16th and has a “S” in the product code. Get more details on the recall.