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Wire in bread sticks? Listeria in cantaloupe? Food Recalls!

Foodfacts.com brings you the latest food recalls and safety information from the Food and Drug Administration. Check back for updates on what you’re REALLY eating!

Pepperidge Farm Sesame Sticks

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Norwalk, Conn., September 22, 2011 – Pepperidge Farm, Incorporated is voluntarily recalling a limited quantity of 10.2-ounce boxes of Baked Naturals Sesame Sticks as a precaution due to the possible presence of small, thin pieces of wire.

The affected product is marked with a yellow 20% More! banner across the top of the package and has the following codes on the top package flap:

W07*1781 Sell by 11/20/2011
W07*1891 Sell by 11/27/2011
W07*1921 Sell by 12/4/2011
W07*2041 Sell by 12/11/2011
W07*2061 Sell by 12/13/2011
W07*2221 Sell by 1/1/2012

No other Pepperidge Farm products are affected.

A small number of consumers have reported minor scrapes in and around the mouth. Pepperidge Farm issued the voluntmy recall out of an abundance of caution to ensure the safety of consumers.

Approximately 13,000 cases of the affected products were shipped to customers across the United States. The product is not distributed in Canada.

Consumers who have purchased this product should not eat it. They should check their pantry shelves for boxes with “Sell By” dates of 11/20/2011 through 1/1/2012 marked on the top package flaps and return them to the store of purchase for an exchange or full refund. Consumers also can contact Pepperidge Farm Monday through Friday between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time at (866) 535-3774.

The product was manufactured in the company’s Willard, Ohio facility.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – September 23, 2011 – Carol’s Cuts LLC, Kansas food processor, is recalling 594 pounds of fresh cut cantaloupe packaged in 5-pound trays as chunks and as an ingredient in 8-ounce mixed fruit medley because it has the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems.

Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriage and stillbirths among pregnant women.

Carol’s Cuts Fruit Medley, packaged in 8-ounce individual serving clamshell containers (6 packages per case) and 5-pound bulk trays of cantaloupe chunks were distributed to institutional food customers, including restaurants, in Overland Park, Kansas, Kansas City and Maryland Heights, Missouri and Omaha, Nebraska. Institutional customers may have used the cantaloupe on salad bars and as fruit menu items. Some institutional customers may have placed the 8-ounce servings in retail venues. Carol’s Cuts has notified all institutional customers of the recall and asked that the contaminated cantaloupe be returned or destroyed.

The Carol’s Cuts Fruit Medley product was shipped to customers on August 26 and September 12, 2011 and can be identified by oval label stickers stating Fruit Medley and having Best if Used By dates of September 3, 2011 and September 19, 2011 respectively. The 5-pound bulk trays of cantaloupe chunks were shipped to customers on August 26 and August 29, 2011 and are identified with tray stickers showing a Lot # 72361 and a Best if Used By date of September 3, 2011; and shipped September 12, 2011 and are identified with tray stickers showing a Lot # 72700 and a Best if Used By date of September 19, 2011.

The Carol’s Cuts recall is part of a larger recall involving cantaloupe traced to Rocky Ford cantaloupes produced by Jensen Farms in Holly, Colo. The Food and Drug Administration confirmed that listeria was found in samples taken from a Denver-area store and the Jensen Farms packing facility. The melons were shipped to at least 17 different states across the U.S. between July 29 and Sept. 10. As of Thursday there were eight deaths and 55 illnesses related to the contaminated cantaloupe.

Jensen Farms earlier issued a voluntary nationwide recall of its cantaloupes after news of the multi-state outbreak. Jenson Farms has ceased production and distribution of the product while FDA and the company continue their investigations as to what caused the problem.

Consumers who may have the recalled Carol’s Cuts product in their possession should return it to the place of purchase for a full refund or destroy it.

Carol’s Cuts LLC is located at 1247 Argentine Boulevard, Kansas City, KS 66105. Consumers with questions may contact the company at (913) 281-5200, Monday thru Friday, 8:00am to 5:00pm.

(Food and Drug Administration)

BPA in Children’s Foods

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A major concern among many of our Foodfacts.com followers is bisphenol A , better known as BPA. We’ll try to clear up any questions you may have regarding products containing BPA, and also give you tips and resources on how to avoid exposure.

First, what is BPA?
Bisphenol A is a chemical which is produced and used in large quantities for polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins which are commonly found in cans for food and jar lids.

Why is BPA a concern?
BPA is an endocrine disruptor. Exposure has been linked to a higher risk of prostate and breast cancers, infertility in females, diabetes, obesity, and ADHD.

Where can I find BPA?
A recent report issued by the Breast Cancer Fund showed various levels of BPA in different canned-foods marketed towards children. Note that these products may not be the only items containing BPA. BPA is measured in parts per billion (ppb):

114 ppb – Campbell’s Disney Princess Cool Shapes, Shaped Pasta with Chicken in Chicken Broth
81 ppb – Campbell’s Toy Story Fun Shapes, Shaped Pasta with Chicken in Chicken Broth
39 ppb – Earth’s Best Organic Elmo Noodlemania Soup, USDA Organic
31 ppb – Annie’s Homegrown Cheesy Ravioli, USDA Organic
13 ppb – Campbell’s Spaghettios with Meatballs
20 ppb – Chef Boyardee Whole Grain Pasta, Mini ABC’s & 123′s with Meatballs

Now that you know some of the foods which are exposed to BPA, you can also learn some foods that do not contain this chemical. The easiest way to find out, is to go online and do some research.

We’ve found that Eden Organic, Wild Planet, Trader Joe’s, Eco Fish, Edward & Son’s products do not use this chemical in their packaging. Also, Rubbermaid, Evenflo, and a few other plastic-based companies address that their items are available without BPA. Don’t be surprised if these items are a bit more pricey, because they tend to materials that cost more for each product.

Do your research on BPA!

(Foodfacts.com)

Some consumers willing to pay more for GMO foods

GMO
Brought to you by Foodfacts.com:

According to a recent study done by researcher Wallace Huffman at Iowa State University, research shows that some consumers will pay up to 25% more for genetically modified foods. For the few of you that may not know, genetic modification is basically carrying genes from one organism into another to create a new hybrid product. This became popular within the last 2 decades, and we’re still not quite sure if there are any long-term health implications involved. However, it’s still being done by major biotechnology companies, and apparently some people are willing to pay extra bucks for it.

Why are some willing to pay more money? There has been a lot of hype surrounding antioxidants, and some vitamins and minerals. We too recognize that these nutrients can provide an abundance of health benefits, and we suggest getting them from natural sources. However, some fruits and vegetables now undergo intragenic modification (modified within own species, rather than from other species) to take antioxidant properties from other plants, and insert them into new ones. This means that some produce that once lacked a certain vitamin or antioxidant, now has the ability to carry different nutrients.

Some farmers and home-gardeners try accomplishing this through cross-breeding, however this can be very difficult to do with many plants. This is when genetic modification came into play, eliminating the difficulties with cross-breeding.
However, many are still skeptic about purchasing any genetically modified product. Again, we’re not exactly sure of any long-term effects or health implications that this process may cause, because it is still fairly new.

Few studies using animals as subjects have suggested genetic modification to cause renal damage, progressive tumor growth, certain types of cancers, and cardiovascular issues. However, these studies have been for the most part small in sample size and brushed off by government agencies.

“The basic idea is that when consumers saw that the intragenic produce had elevated healthful attributes, they were willing to pay more for them,” said Huffman.

What do you think? Would you be more at comfort knowing a genetically modified product was modified with a plant within its own species rather than a plant outside of its species? Or is genetic modification still lacking evidence for you to trust it at all?