The FDA is advising consumers to throw away any soup products from the New York firm Island Soups Company with best before dates between July 2015 and June 2018 because they may be contaminated with Clostridium botulinum bacteria. That bacteria produces a toxin that can be deadly even in very small amounts.
The company issued a recall for six soup varieties of their products on September 7, 2016. But in the notice from the FDA, they state that “FDA’s safety concerns extend to all low-acid canned food products with best before dates between July 2015 and June 2018.”
FDA officials inspected Island Soups Company on June 22, 2016 and found that the facility “does not meet mandatory safety requirements for thermally processed low-acid canned food (LACF) products under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.” Significant violations include documentation of processes, equipment, and record keeping in the production of low acid foods. These issues can lead to under-processed canned foods, which can support the growth of Clostridium botulinum bacteria.
The facility was inspected in July 2015. After that inspection, Island Soups Company signed an affidavit stating that it would cease production and distribution until it met FDA regulations, including filing scheduled processes for thermally-processed LACF products.
As of the date of the September 2016 FDA notice, Island Soups Company has not filed scheduled processes for these products. And the company continued to distribute soups to online customers in March and June of 2016. Those actions triggered the inspection in June 2016.
The FDA issued an order on August 30, 2016 requiring the company to obtain a written “emergency permit” from the government. This permit may be required after the FDA officials find that a commercial processor has not fulfilled all of the requirements pertaining to LACF products. Island Soups ordered the recall of the six soup varieties after a conversation with the FDA. Consumers should discard any of the identified LACF products from Island Soups with best before dates between July 2015 and June 2018 because they were not made with mandatory safety requirements.
The early symptoms of botulism food poisoning include general weakness, dizziness, double vision, and trouble speaking or swallowing. Later, more serious symptoms can include difficulty breathing, weakness of other muscles, and abdominal distension. Botulism poisoning an be fatal. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, see a doctor immediately.