Thursday, April 14, 2011

Recalls and Alerts: April 14, 2011

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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.

United States
  • Food Safety Recall: Spice Hunter recalls Spice Hunter Curry Seasoning, 1.8oz (Lots 09 198 and 09 225) and Spice Hunter Ground Turmeric, 2.0oz (Lots 09 196, 09 201 and 09 264) due to the possibility of high levels of lead in the products. The recalled items were sold at Top Food & Drug store locations, and may also have been available elsewhere.

  • Food Safety Recall/Outbreak Investigation: On Friday, March 25th, the Rhode Island Department of Health issued a recall of all baked goods from DeFusco's Bakery in Johnston, RI. As of April 13, 2011, the recalled zeppole and other baked goods have been implicated in 75 cases of Salmonella gastroenteritis (74 in Rhode Island and one in Massachusetts); 46 of the cases have been lab-confirmed; 29 victims were hospitalized (2 remain in hospital), and two people have died.

  • Recreational Water Safety Advisory (Oregon): A Health Advisory has been issued due to higher-than-normal levels of bacteria in ocean waters at Seaside Beach in Clatsop County. Direct contact with the water should be avoided until the advisory is lifted.

  • Cosmetics Product Safety Recall: Redken recalls Redken Guts Volume Foam Mousse (UPC 82214226107), because the aerosal can liner may corrode over time, leading to possible explosion of the can.

  • Allergy Alert: L'Épicerie du Village (Sainte-Sophie) recalls a large number of prepared soups, entrées, pâtés and sauces, due to the presence of undeclared egg, wheat, soy, milk protein and/or sulfite.

  • Outbreak Alert (Saskatchewan): Four residents and six staff members at the Gull Lake Special Care Centre have been identified as suffering from an enteric illness, the cause of which has not been determined. The Cypress Health Region has declared a "Full Outbreak" at the facility. In order to prevent the outbreak from spreading further, visitation to the entire facility is restricted until further notice.

  • Health Advisory (Saskatchewan): The Saskatchewan Watershed Authority and Ministry of Health warn that heightened risk of flooding in many parts of the province this spring may pose a threat to private water wells and cisterns used for drinking water sources. As a safety measure during spring runoff, the Saskatchewan Watershed Authority is offering free testing of private wells and cisterns used as sources of drinking water that have been potentially impacted by flooding across the province.

Asia, Africa and the Pacific Islands
  • Food Safety Alert (Singapore): Singapore has lifted its suspension on the import of fruites and vegetables from Japan's Ehime prefecture.

  • Food Safety Enforcement Action (China): Chinese authorities have detained five people and shut down the Shanghai Shenglu Food Co, a steamed bun manufacturer, after finding that the company's products had been dyed, were expired, or contained undeclared chemicals.

  • Outbreak Alert (Philippines): The Provincial Health Office has warned of an outbreak of typhoid fever in Negros Occidental province. The number of cases reported so far in 2011 is 60% higher than during the same period last year. Three deaths due to typhoid have been recorded this year.

  • Outbreak Alert (Philippines): An outbreak of cholera has been declared in Bataraza town in Palawan. At least 430 cases of diarrhea have been reported since March 1st; at least 30 people - mostly children belonging to a tribe - have died.

  • Outbreak Alert (Congo DR): Fifty-one people have died as a result of cholera in eastern Congo (Democratic Republic) since February. Since the onset of the outbreak, 913 people have been hospitalized. It is feared that the onset of heavy rains could worsen the outbreak.

  • Food Poisoning Outbreak Investigation (Mauritius): Eighty-two people were diagnosed with food poisoning by staff of the Flacq Hospital on April 10th. Sixty people were admitted to hospital due to the severity of their symptoms. One death may be linked to the outbreak. All of the victims report having eaten cream pie purchased at the Marday White Mountain bakery on April 7th. The bakery's manager, who also suffered from the food poisoning incident, has been questioned by police.

Latin America and the Caribbean
  • Outbreak Alert (Colombia): The Ministry of Health reports that 19 confirmed cases of hepatitis A infections have been diagnosed in La Paz within the last month; an additional 10 suspect cases are under investigation. Approximately one-half of the victims are under 14 years of age. The source of the outbreak has not been determined, but contaminated food and/or unsafe drinking water are suspected.

  • Outbreak Update (Haiti): The rainy season is bringing with it a flare-up in the number of reported cases of cholera. In the last two weeks - since the onset of the rainy season - the Partners in Health cholera center in Mirebalais has seen 1,000 new cases. As a whole, Haiti is reporting some 2,000 new cholera cases a week.

  • Health Alert (Mexico): The Ministry of Health reports that 27,476 cases of acute diarrheal disease have been documented in Yucatan so far in 2011 - up 19% over the same period last year. Forty percent of the cases are children under five years of age.

Some supermarket chains post recall notices on their web sites for the convenience of customers. To see whether a recalled food was carried by your favorite supermarket, follow the live link to the supermarket's recall web site.

*The Kroger umbrella encompasses numerous supermarket, marketplace and convenience store chains, listed on the Kroger corporate home page.

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