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U.S. company knowingly sold salmonella-contaminated product

By Stephanie Dearing     Mar 10, 2010 in Food
Basic Food Flavours, a company that makes food flavourings, has been recalling products that used its hydrolyzed vegetable protein after finding it was contaminated with Salmonella.
Washington, D.C. - The recall started last week with a dip sold in Quebec, Canada and was extended to Pringles potato chips. Today the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced it's investigation revealed that Basic Food Flavours knew of the Salmonella contamination before shipping out the product -- and sold it anyway. The contaminated product was revealed in tests January 21st, but the Los Angeles-based company continued to distribute the protein until February 15th. Food Flavours notified the FDA in February of the contamination. At the time, the company said it had purchased the protein. The recall affects food products that were put on grocery shelves as long ago as mid-September 2009. There have not been any illnesses attributed to the contaminated food products. Cooking will kill salmonella bacteria.
Products in Canada that used the contaminated protein include no-cook food products, such as vegetable dips and popcorn dressings.
The recall in the United States and Canada is expanding to include hundreds of food products.
Hydrolyzed vegetable protein is made by "... boiling foods such as soy, corn, or wheat in hydrochloric acid and then neutralizing the solution with sodium hydroxide. The acid breaks down the protein in vegetables into their component amino acids. It's a "flavour enhancer" used in processed foods like soups, chili, sauces, gravies, stews and some meat products like hot dogs. It's in some dips and snacks like potato chips and pretzels. You'll also find it in some mass-produced vegetarian products made of soy."
Speaking on behalf of the FDA, Meghan Scott told the Washington Post "The FDA is reviewing the evidence in association with the current inspection of Basic Food Flavors to determine the appropriate regulatory response."
More about Basic food flavours, Food drug administration, Food recall, Hydrolyzed vegetable protein
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