Food recalls are becoming more common

GLENN ELLIS | 8/6/2018, 2:48 p.m.
Why are we seeing so many food recalls? It seems like every time you look online, some government agency is ...
Recent food recalls United States Department of Agriculture

Strategies for Well-Being

Why are we seeing so many food recalls? It seems like every time you look online, some government agency is warning us about a food recall.

In order for the public to gain the protection of laws established by agencies such as the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service and FDA, thousands of people had to encounter foodborne illnesses, disease, and even death before lawmakers took action. Fast-forward to today, and the U.S. still has some of the highest food safety standards in the world, but there have been an alarming number of food recalls in recent years.

Some reasons for recalling food include: Discovery of an organism in a product, which may make consumers sick; Discovery of a potential allergen in a product; Mislabeling or misbranding of food. For example, a food may contain an allergen, such as nuts or eggs, but those ingredients do not appear on the label.

Some of our favorite snacks are under a potential salmonella recall. Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Crackers and Ritz Crackers have joined the growing list of potentially contaminated items.

The list of foods that may be contaminated with salmonella also include Swiss rolls and Kellogg’s Honey Smacks. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, it’s the whey powder in the products that is to blame.

Whey is an ingredient derived from the waste of cheese making. The powder is a very common ingredient. It can be used to change the texture of food. Recently, another company posted a recall and the USDA issued a public health alert because of whey powder used in dessert products and frozen dinners.

But the real culprits are E.coli & Salmonella!

Food contaminated with Salmonella bacteria does not look or smell bad, but it can still cause serious infections. Anyone who has eaten any of the recalled foods and developed symptoms of Salmonella infection should seek medical attention and tell their doctors about the possible exposure to the bacteria. Specific lab tests are needed to diagnose and treat Salmonella infections.

People of any age can contract Salmonella. However, infants, children, seniors and those with weakened immune systems are at higher risk of serious illness that can result in hospitalization and life-long complications.

We have all heard of E-coli and Salmonella contaminating our food, but have never been too fussed to find out what they actually are. Are they the same thing or are they even similar to each other? Let’s find out!

Salmonella and E.coli are similar in the sense that they are both bacteria, but are in fact completely different types of bacteria. Salmonella is the name of the group of over 2,500 types of bacteria that most commonly causes food poisoning in humans and animals. Salmonella is spread by ingesting foods that are contaminated with salmonella, such as raw eggs, raw meat, eggs, fruits, vegetables and contaminated water. Contamination takes place when these foods come into contact with animal or human feces and are not cooked properly. Symptoms of Salmonella are diarrhea, vomiting, fever, cramps, headache and last around 4-7 days. Symptoms can get more serious in infants and the elderly but overall will go away by themselves. In some people it takes two weeks for symptoms to develop.