The Food and Drug Administration has recommended that Procter & Gamble recall some of its Pringles potato chips. The recalled chips contain hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP) made by Basic Food Flavors, Inc. – a company that issued a recall last week because it found Salmonella in its equipment that got into its products. Pringles is only one of many popular food stuffs that use Basic Food Flavors HVP – thousands of food items may be affected. HVP is commonly used as a flavor enhancer in processed foods including soups, sauces, chilis, stews, hot dogs, gravy, seasoned snack foods, dips and dressings.
“We don’t know precisely how large this recall will get,” says Dr. Jeff Farrar, associate commissioner for food safety, FDA’s Office of Foods. “We expect this to get larger over the next several days to several weeks.” However, Farrar adds, “Many of the products with the flavor enhancer contain a “kill step” designed to destroy salmonella. Those products will not be recalled.”
Apparently the FDA discovered the problem with Basic Food after receiving a tip. They investigated the suspect equipment in the Basic Food Flavors plant and discovered the Tennessee strain of Salmonella. Their findings have led the company to recall all hydrolyzed vegetable protein in powder and paste form that they had produced since September 17th, 2009.
Salmonella can cause fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. Most healthy people recover from Salmonella poisoning in four to seven days – young children, the elderly or those with immune deficiencies may be more severely, even fatally, affected.
Restaurant Cravers Cheeseburger, Super Stack Canister: 181 grams, UPC code: 37000 26936, with best by dates of 02/2011, 04/2011
Pringles Family Faves Taco Night, Super Stack Canister: 181 grams, UPC code: 37000 26773, with best buy dates of 03/2011, 04/2011, 05/2011
“This situation clearly underscores the need for new food safety legislation to equip FDA with the tools we need to prevent contamination.” Farrar says. Check www.foodsafety.gov for a full list of recalled products and report symptoms of Salmonella to a local health care professional immediately if you experience them.