Five weeks after the U.S. Marshals Service raided a powdered milk factory at the request of FDA, seizing more than 4 million pounds of product because of possible Salmonella contamination, down-stream food companies are still initiating recalls, the latest being the iconic Palmer Candy Co.
The 149-year-old, family-owned candy company based in Souix City, IA, posted the recall on its website Monday. The recall includes Palmer branded products as well as unbranded bulk products and specific products made under the Publix brand and Wal-Mart’s “The Bakery” brand.
Two Publix-branded products, almond bark (left) and peppermint bark (not shown) and Wal-Mart brand “The Bakery” variety bowl are among the products included in this recall. To view photos of all of the recalled products, click on the image.
“The voluntary recall, in cooperation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration includes selected products produced between Oct. 20, 2016, and Dec. 9, 2016, and shipped by Palmer Candy Co. to grocery, convenience store and wholesale customers nationwide,” according to the recall notice.
“The recall is the result of a potentially contaminated milk powder ingredient recalled by Valley Milk Products LLC, a derivative of which was included as a small portion of the ingredients by another company in a confectionary coating supplied to Palmer Candy Co. Affected products include a variety of candy products sold to retailers under the Palmer Candy Co. brand, private label chocolates for retail distribution and bulk products provided to retailers for repackaging.”
Because of the long shelf life of some of the products, which extends to the end of August this year for some items, officials are concerned consumers may have the recalled products in their homes.
To view this chart in a larger format and to see photos of all of the products included in this recall, click on the image.
To determine if they have the recalled products in their homes, consumers should look for the UPC numbers for the products listed in the chart at right.
The numbers are usually on the back of bags or the bottom of rigid containers. Photos of all of the products recalled by Palmer are available with the recall notice. To view them, click here or on the chart.
“We are truly sorry for any distress this recall causes to our retail customers and to consumers. We remain committed to the highest standards in food quality and safety. We are taking this recall very seriously and truly appreciate the cooperation of our customers as we work to resolve this matter promptly,” Marty Palmer, president and chief executive officer of Palmer Candy Company said in the recall notice.
Consumers should throw out or return these products to the point of sale for a full refund, according to the recall notice. For more information, consumers may call 712-258-5543 to speak with a customer service representative at Palmer Candy Co.
No illnesses had been confirmed in connection with the recalled candy and snacks produced by Palmer as of Monday. However, anyone who has eaten any of the recalled products and developed symptoms of Salmonella infection should seek medical attention and tell their doctors about the possible exposure to the pathogen.
Food contaminated with Salmonella may not look or smell spoiled but can still make you sick. Young children, pregnant women, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems may contract serious and sometimes deadly infections.
Healthy people may experience short-term symptoms such as fever, headache, vomiting, nausea, abdominal cramps and diarrhea. Long-term complications may include severe arthritis.
At the request of the FDA, armed U.S. Marshals raided the Valley Milk plant on Nov. 30 and seized 4 million pounds of powdered milk and powdered buttermilk valued at almost $4 million.
On Dec. 9 Valley Milk Products recalled 3.1 million pounds of powdered milk products produced and sold in the period from Dec. 5, 2015, through July 10, 2016.
While the FDA has access to company records showing who bought the recalled powdered milk, and when, it cannot publish those details because of a federal law protecting “confidential corporate information.”
In a document filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia the FDA reported environmental swabs collected at the production facility returned positive results for Salmonella.
Inspectors also found internal records at Valley Milk that showed the company itself had found Salmonella in the facility and in finished products.
Close to 20 other companies’ have similarly named potentially contaminated powdered milk from Valley Milk Products LLC of Strasburg, VA, as the reason for their recalls of products as varied as pudding mix, potato chips, frozen cream puffs and macaroni and cheese.
For additional details on other recalls related to the Valley Milk Products problems with Salmonella, please see:
(To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News, click here.)