The nation’s lesson on food ingredients has continued since late last Thursday.

That was when top food safety officials appeared together at a Washington D.C. press conference to announce that a North Las Vegas food processor had turned out hydrolyzed vegetable protein contaminated with a strain of Salmonella Tennessee.

In the days since, we’ve learned that hydrolyzed vegetable protein, also known as HVP, is found in gravy, stuffing, soup mixes, snacks, dressing, bouillon, prepared salads, and more. 

When the press conference at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ended late last Thursday, 56 products were on the HVP recall list.  By today, that number had grown to at least 101 products. 

Ingredient recalls tend to come in at odd hours, so it’s best to check the FDA database on the HVP recall to keep current.

The HVP in question comes from Basic Food Favors, a 30-year old company that is a leader in supplying this sort of ingredient to food companies that produce thousands of products.

FDA is demanding that any product containing HVP from Basic Food Flavors be recalled unless there was a “kill step” during production that would make it safe for human consumption.

Products added to the recall lists since the press conference include:

•    Aurora, IL-based Creative Contract Packaging Corporation recalled HERB-OX ® beef, vegetable, and chicken granular bouillon for specific date codes.
•    Lancaster, PA-based National Pretzel Company recalled all its Honey Mustard Onion flavored pretzels produced since December 2009.
•    McCormick & Company in Sparks, MD recalled various dips mixes and corn bread snuffing.
•    Buena Park, CA- based Fresh Food Concepts Inc. recalled certain Delicioso, De la Casa, Rojo’s and Fresh Food Concepts brand dips and Fresh Food Concepts Spinach Dip with Yogurt.

FDA believes the contamination dates back to September 2009. 

The agency was tipped off in late February about the possible Salmonella contamination in the HVP from Basic Food Flavors on the government’s new “Reportable Food Registry.”

The Registry is an electronic portal for food industry insiders to use when they believe there is a reasonable probability that food intended for human consumption might be at risk.

After getting the tip, FDA sent inspectors to the Nevada processing plant and found Salmonella was present.   HVP production was halted and the recalls began.

Only HVP manufactured by Basic Food Flavors is involved.  A list of recalled products is available on the FDA Web site.