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article imageRecalls for Salmonella contamination have now become nationwide

By Karen Graham     Dec 18, 2016 in Food
It began as a rare incident where armed federal agents seized over four million pounds of dry milk powder from a major dairy cooperative on November 30, but it has turned into a major, nationwide recall of all kinds of products, including gift baskets.
Because the holiday season is here, let's talk about the gift basket recall first. Houdini Inc. of Fullerton, California is recalling limited quantities of its Blue Cheese Savory Twists in a seven oz box after the FDA found traces of Salmonella at the manufacturing facility of the ingredient supplier for the powdered buttermilk used to make the Blue Cheese seasoning in these products.
Keep in mind the recall covers the seven-ounce boxes of Blue Cheese Savory Twists in the gift baskets. The boxes come in three colors, red, green and copper. The Houdini gift baskets were sold through the company's Wine Country Gift Baskets catalog and website, as well as at Sam’s Club, Costco and catalog-Internet sales nationwide.
As it is with all recalled products, consumers are advised to not eat them and to thrown them away or return them to the place of purchase, depending on the supplier. Houdini, Inc. advises: “If you have any questions concerning this recall, please contact Houdini Customer Care at 866-712-5910.”
It started with a seizure of milk products
All this mess with products being recalled all across the United States started on November 30 when armed federal agents seized more than four million pounds of milk products in 40 and 50-pound bags from Valley Milk Products LLC’s balancing plant located in Strasburg, Virginia.
The Strasburg plant, along with a manufacturing plant in Laurel, Maryland, is owned by the Reston, VA-based Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative Association Inc. The cooperative markets milk from over 1,500 farmer-owned dairies in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions of the country, according to Food Safety News.
The Justice Department raid was initiated at the behest of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) because inspectors had found Salmonella meleagridis during last September's inspection of the Strasburg plant. The FDA reported there were "positive results for Salmonella in both internal environmental and finished product samples. Inspectors also found residues on processing equipment after cleaning and condensation from the ceiling falling on the food manufacturing equipment."
Salmonella was also found on food contact surfaces after the pasteurization process. The plant has the capacity to handle nearly 200 million pounds of milk a year but is not producing any product at this time. But by the time of the seizure, a huge amount of powdered milk had been distributed to companies all across the country (just like the flour recall).
Rather than go into each company involved in the massive recall resulting from the contaminated powdered milk, we can tell you that everything, from mini-eclairs, poppy seed bread mixes, cookies, scones, crepe mixes, monkey bread mixes, mac-n-cheese cups, macaroni and cheese, to flavored potato chips have been recalled in various states, resulting in what could be called a nationwide recall.
For a complete list of companies involved in recalls due to Salmonella contamination of the milk powder used in the manufacturing process, go to the FDA's Recalls, Market Withdrawals, & Safety Alerts.
More about Salmonella contamination, powdered milk, gift baskets, Salmonella meleagridis, Recalls
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