This week a seasonal version of the iconic American snack cake — Hostess Twinkies — joined dozens of other foods as a victim of a secondary recall because of Salmonella contamination at a powdered milk plant.
Hostess Brands LLC of Kansas City, MO, initiated a nationwide recall of its “Holiday White Peppermint Twinkies” late Monday because of a recall by Blommer Chocolate Co. of the confectionary coating used on the Twinkies, according to the recall notice on the Food and Drug Administration’s website.
“The confectionary coating contains milk powder ingredients recalled by Valley Milk Products LLC due to a concern of Salmonella contamination. No illnesses have been reported to date, and none of the confectionary coating sampled has tested positive for Salmonella. However, Hostess is initiating this voluntary recall out of an abundance of caution,” the company said in the recall notice.
Although the peppermint Twinkies are a seasonal holiday item, their long shelf life has raised concerns that consumers may have the recalled snack cakes in their homes.
Consumers can identify the recalled peppermint Twinkies sold in nine-packs with the UPC number 888109111571. Hostess distributed the recalled peppermint Twinkies to mass merchandisers, grocery stores, distributors, dollar and discount stores, and convenience stores throughout the United States.
“Consumers who have purchased the affected product are urged to discontinue consumption and return them to the place of purchase for a full refund,” according to the recall notice. “Consumers with questions may contact 800-483-7253 Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Central time.”
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 in Strasburg, VA, 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:
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