Food Safety News was in error yesterday when it reported that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned the public about a potential danger in baby food before the manufacturer voluntarily recalled the product.

The public warning actually was issued six hours after the company recall.

Time stamps on the FDA website show baby food maker Nurture Inc. issued its recall at 2:37 p.m. EDT, Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 and FDA’s public warning went out at 8:37 p.m. the same day.

FDA’s email alert system immediately notified Food Safety News about the public warning, but it did not receive anything about the company’s recall until the following morning—some ten hours later.  Usually email alerts track very closely to when information is posted on FDA’s website.

Both recall and public warnings were for HAPPYTOT Stage 4 and HAPPYBABY Stage 1 and 2. of a recall.

The baby foods involved are sold in pouches that are apparently swollen and may be leaking, and that could lead to contamination by bacteria that can cause illness.  Packaging that is compromised is at risk of bacterial contamination.

These baby meals in a pouch come with codes for expiration dates for November 2010 to January 2011.  The products were sold at less than 300 retail locations nationwide.

Recalled varieties include:

  • Green bean, pear & peas, NET WT. 4.22 OZ. (120g), UPC 8 52697 00127 9;
  • Sweet potato, carrot, apple & cinnamon, NET WT. 4.22 OZ. (120g), UPC 8 52697 00128 6;
  • Spinach, mango & pear, NET WT. 4.22 OZ. (120g), UPC 8 52697 00129 3;
  • Butternut squash & apple, NET WT. 4.22 OZ. (120g), UPC 8 52697 00130 9;
  • Banana, peach, coconut & prunes, NET WT. 4.22 OZ. (120g), UPC 8 52697 00131 6;
  • Banana, peach & mango, NET WT. 4.22 OZ. (120g), UPC 8 52697 00132 3
  • Mango, NET WT. 3.5 OZ. (99g), UPC 8 52697 00134 7
  • Spinach Mango Pear, NET WT. 3.5 OZ. (99g), UPC 8 52697 00139 2
  • Apricot Sweet Potato, NET WT. 3.5 OZ. (99g), UPC 8 52697 00136 1

FDA warned the public not to consume the products after receiving a consumer complaint of a swollen pouch.  The agency contained Brooklyn, NY-based Nurture Inc. and began an investigation that found additional baby food pouches that were swollen or leaking.  FDA is testing for possible bacterial contamination.

The FDA is also conducting an inspection at an unnamed contract domestic manufacturer of these products to review its overall manufacturing process. No illnesses have been reported to the FDA to date.

Consumers who have served or consumed these products and become ill should contact their health providers immediately and report the information to their FDA district office and to the company.

Consumers who see swelling, leaking, or packaging problems in any HAPPYTOT Stage 4 or HAPPYBABY Stage 1 or Stage 2 pouched baby food products should discard the products in a way that will keep people and pets from retrieving them, and should wash their hands thoroughly after handling the packages.

Store personnel who handle products involved in the company recall should wash their hands thoroughly after handling packages of these products.