More products made with hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP) from Basic Food Flavors in Nevada were being recalled in the United States as Canadians Friday questioned if their own food safety agency moved fast enough to warn about the Salmonella problem.
It’s been a week since top food safety officials in Washington, DC publicly disclosed that Salmonella had been found inside the Basic Food Flavors food processing facility located in North Las Vegas. And, the Nevada Company recalled all the HVP it made and sold going back to last September.
A week later, there are 149 products containing HVP on the recall list in the United States, and 11 in Canada from brand names like Sobeys, Metro, and Loblaw’s.
In Ottawa, the federal government of Canada’s response brought Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz out to play some defense. Canada says Basic Food Flavors learned of its Salmonella problem on Jan. 21, and continued to distribute product through Chemroy Canada until Feb. 15.
Basic Food Flavors began contacting its clients about the HVP recall on Feb. 25, providing the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) its client list within 24 hours. CFIA’s first HVP recalls were announced March 2.
Two days later, late on March 4, was when U.S. officials appeared at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to announce the HVP problem.
Opposition Members of Parliament (MPs) questioned the government’s response, suggesting it did not move fast enough to get HVP products off store shelves. Ritz said CFIA acted immediately when notified by FDA, and only Basic Food Flavors failed to react.
The North Las Vegas HVP-maker did continue to ship product after learning it might be contaminated with the Salmonella Tennessee strain.
Companies with products added in the last 48 hours to the FDA database of HVP-related recalls include:
Lakeland, FL-based Publix Super Markets recalled four varieties of seasoning mixes.
Plano, TX-based Quaker recalled its Snack Mixed Baked Cheddar.
Mrs. Gerry’s Kitchen of Albert Lea, MN recalled its Crab Creole Spread, largely distributed in the Midwest.
Olde Westport Spice of Olathe, KS recalled Garden Harvest Special Blend Seasoning.
Kroger, the nationwide grocery giant, recalled soup and dip mixes.
Consumers are urged to check with the FDA database for precise product names and codes. The database has grown to 149 separate products, up from 56 when it was first announced on March 4.