Salmonella Worry Prompts Potato Chip Recall
Tom's Barbecue Potato Chips Recalled Due to Flavoring That May Be Contaminated With Salmonella
April 1, 2010 - All Tom's Barbecue Potato Chips have been recalled, Lance
Inc. and the FDA today announced.
The chips contain
salmonella-contaminated hydrolyzed vegetable protein, a flavoring agent
that's now led to the recall of 177 U.S. products -- and counting.
Tom's Barbecue Potato Chips are sold in 1-ounce, 2.25 ounce, and 8.5-ounce
flexible packages. The recalled products carry expiration dates ranging from
May 14, 2010, to July 16, 2010.
The possible salmonella contamination comes from the seasoning used on the
barbecue variety of Tom's chips but not in other Tom's chip flavors.
The seasoning is made with hydrolyzed vegetable protein made at the Las
Vegas plant of Basic Food Flavors Inc. A company supplied by Basic Food Flavors
tested the product and detected the salmonella contamination; a subsequent FDA
inspection of the Las Vegas plant found numerous food safety violations and
detected salmonella in food-contact areas.
So far, no human illnesses have been definitively traced to the growing list
of products that contain the contaminated hydrolyzed vegetable protein. That
may be because some of the contaminated products are cooked before being
consumed; high temperatures kill salmonella. And some of the firms using the
flavoring have a "kill step" that eliminates bacteria during processing.
Hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP) is a vegetable, usually corn or soy,
broken down into its amino-acid components by acids. One of these amino acids
is glutamic acid, better known to consumers in its sodium form as monosodium
glutamate or MSG. Foods flavored with HVP may be labeled as "MSG free."
An astonishing variety of products use HVP, including hot dogs, potato chips
and other snack foods, soups, salad dressings, sauces, chilis, stews, gravies,
Tom's isn't the only brand of potato chips affected. Chips previously
recalled due to salmonella-contaminated HVP include Barcel Tostachos chips;
Hawaiian sweet Maui onion chips and rings; Herr's cracked pepper and sea salt
flavored chips; and Pringles Restaurant Cravers Cheeseburger and Family Faves
Taco Night chips.
The FDA maintains an updated list of the
products recalled due to salmonella-contaminated HVP.
Salmonella Infection Symptoms
Salmonella infection symptoms begin anywhere from 12 hours to three days
after eating contaminated food.
- Abdominal cramps
- Loss of appetite
Fortunately, most salmonella infections resolve on their own within five to
seven days. Antibiotics are occasionally needed for severe infections.