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Bhu Foods recalls protein bars because of Listeria risk

Another brand of protein snacks, Bhu Foods of San Diego, is under recall because they contain organic sunflower seeds from Hudson Valley Foods Inc., which reported finding Listeria monocytogenes in its production facility in recent weeks.

“As a result of a recall of sunflower seeds from Hudson Valley Foods Inc., Bhu Foods’ supplier of organic sunflower seeds, advised Bhu Foods that ingredients sold to the company have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes,” according to the recall notice posted Friday evening by the Food and Drug Administration.

“All affected distributors and retail website customers have been notified and the affected products have been removed from store shelves and inventories. The product was available nationwide in retail stores as well as by mail order/direct delivery.”

No confirmed illnesses had been reported in connection with the Bhu Foods protein bars as of the posting of the recall notice.

The recalled Bhu Foods protein bars were produced from May 9 through June 9 this year. Consumers can identify the recalled bars by looking for the following information on the wrappers, the lot code is printed next to the expiration date:

  • Organic Vegan Protein – Chocolate + Tart Cherry + Pistachio with Lot Code 13717;
  • Organic Vegan Protein – Apple Chunk + Cinnamon + Nutmeg with Lot Code 13717;
  • Organic Vegan Protein – Peanut Butter + Chocolate Chip with Lot Code 13917;
  • Organic Vegan Protein – Superfood Chocolate Chip + Fudge Brownie Batter with Lot Code 13817 or 15417;
  • Organic Vegan Protein – Peanut Butter + White Chocolate with Lot Code 15317 or 15417;
  • Grass Fed Whey Protein – Dark Chocolate + Coconut + Almond “Made with Organic Ingredients” with Lot Code 13917;
  • Grass Fed Whey Protein – Salted Caramel + Pecan “Made with Organic Ingredients” with Lot Code 13017 or 13817;
  • Grass Fed Whey Protein – Vanilla + Almond + Cashew “Made with Organic Ingredients” with Lot Code 13017 or 13817; and
  • Paleo Protein – Double Dark Chocolate Chip “Made with Organic Ingredients” with Lot Code 13117, 14017 or 14317.

“The potential for contamination was noted after routine testing by Hudson Valley Farms. Bhu Foods was notified directly by Hudson Valley Farms and the FDA of the potential contamination and risk for illness from this product. Bhu Foods immediately ceased production and distribution upon receiving this news for the consideration of our consumers,” according to the recall notice.

Consumers should not consume these products. Affected product may be returned to the place of purchase for an exchange. Consumers with questions may contact Bhu Foods at 619-855-3992.

Anyone who has eaten any of the recalled products and developed symptoms of Listeria infection should seek medical attention and tell their doctors about the possible exposure. Additionally, anyone who has eaten the above products recently should monitor themselves for symptoms during the coming weeks because it can take up to nine weeks after exposure for symptoms to develop.

Healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headaches, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea. Serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

A number of other products made with sunflower seeds and other ingredients from Hudson Valley Farms have been recalled in recent weeks in the United States and Canada.

Those recalled products include three brands of hummus — Marketside, Lantana and Fresh Foods Market — protein bars, oatmeal and trail mix with organic dates

An FDA spokesman told Food Safety News in June that Hudson Valley Farms has stopped operations and will not restart without prior notice to FDA.

“The FDA is working with Hudson Valley Foods Inc. to facilitate their recall and remove potentially contaminated food from the marketplace. Additionally, the firm is working on corrective actions to remediate the situation and identify the source. We have no further information to share at this time,” said the FDA spokesman.

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