Foreign contaminants top list in food recall roundup

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

Plastic, metal and glass contamination have all sparked recalls in the past week
Plastic, metal and glass contamination have all sparked recalls in the past week

Related tags Food safety recall

Meatballs, cake and yogurts are just some of the products recalled due to food safety issues in the past week, covered in this roundup.

Plastic, metal and glass contamination all forced food and drink firms to remove their products from shelves, as well as the presence of Salmonella amid the continuing Europe-wide outbreak of salmonella enteriditis​ cases.


Meatballs recalled by the Co-op

Plastic contamination forces meatball recall

Retailer The Co-op has been forced to recall packs of 12 British Beef Meatballs, after it was discovered some of the products were contaminated with pieces of plastic.

The recall applied to 350g packs of the product with a use by date of 5 March 2021. The possible presence of plastic made the product unsafe to eat.

The Co-op removed the product from store shelves and point of sales notices were displayed in are retail stores. Consumers who have bought the product were advised to return it to their nearest Co-op store for a refund.


Carrot Cake found to contain glass

Carrot cake recalled by the Co-op

The Co-op also recalled packs of its Irresistible Carrot Cake due to their potential contamination by foreign objects.

Cakes with the best before dates of 13 March 2021 and 20 March 2021 were pulled off shelves after it was discovered some of the products could have contained pieces of glass.

As it did with the meatballs, The Co-op issued point of sale notices to all of its stores warning of the danger presented if these cake were consumed. Customers were again advised to return the product to their nearest store for a refund.


Yogurts recalled by Danone

Metal pieces found in Danone Yogurts

Dairy processor Danone took the precautionary step of recalling three batches of yoghurt products, because they might contain pieces of metal.

Products covered in the recall included Light and Free Peach Passion Fruit Greek Style Yogurt (4 x 115g), Activia Vanilla 0% FAT – No added Sugar Yogurt (4 x 120g) and Activia Intensely Creamy Raspberry Yogurt (4 x 110g) with the use by dates 31 March, 2 April and 31 March 2021 respectively.

Danone advised consumers to return the products to the store they were purchased from to receive a refund.


Lidl cereal products plastic contamination

Biskies breakfast cereal recalled by Lidl

Plastic contamination also forced the recall of Crownfield Wholegrain Wheat Bixies 36 sold by discount retailer Lidl.

Possible plastic contamination was found in 720g packs of the breakfast cereal, with the best before dates 10 January, 11 January and 12 January 2022.

Lidl advised customers not to eat the affected products and instead return them to any Lidl store to receive a full refund. Alternatively, consumers could dispose of the product and send proof to customer services to process a refund via letter.

No other Crownfield products, or ‘best before end’ dates of this product were affected by the recall.


Chicken product recalled by SFC

Presence of Salmonella sparks chicken recall

SFC recalled SFC Chicken Poppets and Take-Home Boneless Bucket because Salmonella had been found in the products.

This update also extends the recall of SFC Take-Home Boneless bucket announced last month to include all batch codes with best before 28th November 2021.

SFC Chicken Poppets with the batch code L15520 and best before date of 31st October 2021 were added to the recall list and to add the batch code L:25820 on products with a best before date of 28 February 2022.

Salmonella enteriditis​ international outbreak

According to the Food Standards Agency (FSA), since January 2020 there have been 480 cases of salmonellosis caused by two strains of salmonella enteritidis and linked to consumption of frozen, raw, breaded chicken products.

The FSA has linked the following recalls to the same outbreak:

According to a statement from the European Food Safety Authority issued on 1 March, between May 2018 and December 2020, 193 human cases of salmonella enteritidis​ sequence type (ST)11 were reported in Denmark (2), Finland (4), France (33), Germany (6), Ireland (12), the Netherlands (3), Poland (5), Sweden (6), and the UK (122).

Salmonella GettyImages-1173821317

One death reported

One in five cases was hospitalised. One death was reported and the FSA and Public Health England are understood to be investigating at least another four deaths over the past year. Half of the cases involved children under 18 years of age. The most recent case was reported by the UK in December 2020. Epidemiological studies in the UK have identified an increased risk of S. enteritidis​ infection associated with the consumption of frozen breaded chicken products.

Five batches of non‐ready‐to‐eat poultry products, for example breaded products, tested positive for S. enteritidis​ matching the outbreak strain. Three of these were made by a Polish processing company where S. enteritidis​ was not detected. The five positive batches were traced to different meat suppliers, slaughterhouses, and/or farms in Poland. Some of these farms had positive results for S. enteritidis​ in 2020 (no whole genome sequencing typing).

The scarce typing information available for the primary production did not enable the identification of a microbiological link between the positive Polish farms and the contaminated products. Control measures were implemented for the products involved (e.g. withdrawals, recalls).

Common source(s)

The whole genome sequencing analysis of human and food S. enteritidis​ isolates confirmed a cluster with 0‐3 allelic differences through single linkage clustering. This, in combination with epidemiological and traceability data, suggests common source(s) in the food chain.

There remains a risk of infection in connection with the consumption of implicated poultry products purchased before the withdrawals, if these products are not properly cooked. Unknown source(s) of contamination and the identification of other Salmonella serotypes and S. enteritidis​ strains indicate that these poultry products pose a recurrent risk for Salmonella infections in the EU/EEA and the UK.

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