March 23, 2019

FDA Commissioner Makes Statement on Secondary Product Recalls for Potentially Contaminated Whey

Dr. Scott Gottlieb, FDA Commissioner, has issued a statement on the voluntary recalls of Ritz and Goldfish Crackers and other food products that were made with whey powder that may have been contaminated with Salmonella bacteria. The FDA is working with the companies involved to initiate secondary recalls for products made with the whey. Recalled products include a variety of Mondelez’s Ritz cheese sandwiches and Ritz Bits cheese products, some types of Pepperidge Farm’s Goldfish crackers, one variety of Hungry Man dinners, Flowers Foods’ Swiss Rolls, and Captain John Derst’s bread. More recalls may be issued in the coming days.

Warning

The statement says that there is no evidence that anyone was sickened after eating one of these products, or that the products are, in fact, contaminated. The recalls are being issued for a potential risk.

The products recalled may contain a common whey ingredient that is supplied by Associated Milk Producers Inc. that is based in Minnesota. While some of that product did test positive for Salmonella bacteria, none of the recalled consumer products have tested positive for the pathogen.

The FDA is taking steps to intervene early on to protect consumers from possible illness, and because many of these products are consumed by children, who are much more vulnerable to serious health consequences from a Salmonella infection than healthy adults. These recalls are a cautionary step.

The symptoms of a Salmonella infection include abdominal and stomach cramps and pain, nausea, vomiting, a fever, and diarrhea that may be bloody. People usually start getting sick 6 to 72 hours after eating food that is contaminated with the pathogen. While most patients do recover on their own, serious long term health problems are associated with this infection, including reactive arthritis, endocarditis, and high blood pressure. If you have eaten these products and are sick, see your doctor.

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