Food in the News

Parkers Farm Acquisition, LLC Issues Voluntary Recall of Products Due to Listeria Contamination

food recallMarch 22, 2014 - The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is alerting consumers to avoid eating certain peanut butter, cheese, salsa, and spreads produced by Parkers Farm Acquisition, LLC of Coon Rapids, Minnesota, after state agriculture department product sampling determined some of the finished products to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes bacteria.


There have been no reports of illness associated with consumption of the products. Parkers Farm Acquisition, LLC is cooperating with the MDA investigation and has issued a voluntary recall of all products with the “sell by” dates listed below. Consumers who have purchased these products are urged to return them to the place of purchase or discard them.


The list of recalled products includes:

4 Reasons Why Food Prices are Climbing; 12+ Money-saving Tips

milkWhether you've noticed it yet or not, food prices, especially on perishable staples, have been climbing in 2014. Even worse news: they're likely to continue moving in that dire direction.  We'll tell you the reasons and the specific products affected.  Then we'll provide many tips for coping with this budget-breaking trend.

Roos Foods Cheeses Linked to Listeria Outbreak

food recall


The number of  states in which Roos products have been distributed in retail stores has been expanded.  The total list now includes Washington, D.C. and  these 5 states: Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and Virginia.


In addition, the recall has been expanded to include more types of cheeses, more sizes of the cheeses listed in the original recall (below), and sour cream.


This recall now includes include all product sizes and containers of Santa Rosa de Lima Queso Duro Blando (hard cheese), and Mexicana Queso Cojito Molido. This update also serves as additional clarification that ALL sizes and containers of the cheese products previously identified are being recalled: Amigo, Anita, Mexicana, and Santa Rose de Lima brands of: Cuajada En Terron, Cuajada/Cuajadita Cacer, Cuajada Fresca, Queso Fresco Round, and Queso Duro Viejo (hard cheeses), Requeson, Queso de Huerta and Quesco Fresco.


Roos Foods is also recalling all product sizes and containers of these brands of sour cream: Santa Rosa de Lima Crema Salvadorena Cultured Sour Cream, Santa Rosa de Lima Mantequilla de Bolsa Tradicion Centroamericana, Crema Pura Mexicana Cultured Sour Cream, La Chapina Crema Guatemalteca Guatemalan Style Cream, and Amigo Brand Crema Centroamericana.


Further questions about this recall can be directed to Virginia Mejia at 302-653-0600, Monday thru Friday from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM EST.

Original Article:

Roos Foods of Kenton, Delaware has recalled at least 16 varieties of cheese after 8 illnesses and 1 death due to Listeria monocytogenes that were linked to Roos products. All of the patients are of Hispanic ethnicity.  Seven are Maryland residents.  California has reported 1 illness and 1 death. 

A Big Beef Recall, A Limited Tomato Recall

food recall

Update, 2/19: Hot Pockets Recall Linked to Rancho

Two types of Hot Pockets sandwiches--Philly Steak and Cheese and Croissant Crust Philly Steak and Cheese (in 3 different size packages)--have been recalled by Nestlé USA because they may contain recalled meat processed by the Rancho Feeding Corp. This new recall involves 238,000 cases of Hot Pockets pastries.  


Nestlé said that, although the company had not purchased meat directly from Rancho, some meat involved in the Rancho recall was used in a California facility that makes Hot Pockets. 


If you have Philly Steak and Cheese Hot Pockets in your freezer, check out the list of batch codes posted by Huffington Post. A CNN article also provides a link to this info.  If you have any of the recalled products, return them for a refund or call Nestlé Consumer Services, 800-392-4057.


Original article:

The sheer quantity of one of these recalls--nearly 9 million pounds of meat!--caught the attention of major news media.  The tomato recall was much smaller but still affected several states.  Here are the details on both of these recalls.

More Tips on Reading Food Labels

all natural yogurtYes, we know that it's smart to read the labels on food--the big print and the small--before we put the package in our grocery cart, but sometimes labels are misleading.  "Reduced salt," for example, may mean that the quantity of salt has been lowered from ridiculously high to just very high.  Here are some recently-published food label tips that can help you be a sharper shopper.

Undeclared Allergens Cause Four Recalls

food recallI received email notification of several food recalls within the past week. They were a reminder that not all food recalls are the result of discovered contamination.  There are many reasons for recalls other than contamination. The recalls listed below will be of interest to you if you (or someone you serve meals to) is allergic to one of these common allergens: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy, and wheat. If any of these are used in any processed food, the government requires food producers and processors to include that allergen in the ingredients list on the package label. These 8 food categories account for about 90% of allergic reactions, according to the Mayo Clinic.


Among the recent recalls was one BIGGIE--nearly 2 million pounds of food recalled. This one got some major news media attention, so let's start with that.

Trans Fat, Your Years are Numbered

crackers, Shake 'N BakeThe FDA has taken a bold step toward banishing a murderer in our food--trans fat.  Here's the opening attack of the Nov. 7 announcement by the FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition:  "The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has made a preliminary determination that partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs), the primary dietary source of artificial trans fat in processed foods, are not “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) for use in food. A final decision would mean that the use of these oils in the food supply would be phased out over a number of years.  Removal of PHOs from the food supply could prevent up to 7,000 deaths from heart disease each year." 


So will trans fats vanish overnight?  Not so fast.

Use-by dates under attack! Can they be defended or improved?

milk sell by dateNever thought I'd see the day when shelf life matters became big news in the popular media.  Nor did I expect use-by dates to become a source of humor.  But, thanks to a well-publicized new report--jointly issued by the Natural Resources Defense Council, (the NRDC) and Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic--use-by and sell-by dates are finally getting the attention they deserve. 


Way back in 2010, Shelf Life Advice published an article entitled "It Says Use By Tomorrow, But You Don't Have To."  Since that year, about 2 million people have visited Shelf Life Advice. But, sadly, we haven't made a dent in the national confusion about so-called expiration dates on food. Now, perhaps, the country is about to enter a new era.  This new report--The Dating Game: How Confusing Food Date Labels Lead to Food Waste in America--not only tells what's wrong with the food dating system but also recommends solutions to the problem. 

Hot Comfort Foods for Winter; "Hot" Food Trends for 2014

snow treeJanuary generally inspires a burst of reports on these topics: 1) what to consume to do battle with cold weather and/or viral cold miseries; and 2) what food trends will be served up in the coming year. Let's find out what the news media have been saying lately on both topics.

FDA's New Plan: Decrease Antibiotics in Livestock

chickenOn December 11, the FDA made an important announcement: a proposal to curtail indiscriminate use of antibiotics in food-producing animals.  This voluntary policy won't totally eliminate the danger of becoming ill with an antibiotic-resistant germ, but, still, it could be a big step in the right direction. The following Q/As explain the reasons for the new policy, what will happen next, and why.


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