Food recalls are a major issue in this country. It seems every week or so we are hearing about a new product that is being pulled from the shelves of the local grocery store because of everything from bacterium to foreign materials such as plastic and metal. As the year closes, there are already recalls emerging, particularly the Costco rotisserie chicken salad and a widespread celery recall. These are just a sampling of the five most alarming food recalls of 2015 in the United States.
Blue Bell Creameries, Ice Cream
The Texas-based, family owned Blue Bell Creameries had a major recall following a listeria outbreak that was connected to three deaths. All of these deaths involved Blue Bell Ice Cream sold at a Kansas hospital. The company tested more of its factories only to find some samples of ice cream also had listeria. The company then issued a voluntary recall of all of its products, a move that is almost unheard of. This recall was especially worrisome since Blue Bell provides ice cream to hospitals and school lunch programs in many states.
Bidart Bros., Gala and Granny Smith Apples
This recall actually began in late 2014, but its repercussions were still being felt into the beginning of the year. Listeria was the cause of a massive recall by Bidart Bros., a California based apple-packing plant, of its entire 2014 shipments of Gala and Granny Smith Apples. The listeria bacterium is particularly dangerous to those with weakened immune systems and it has been linked to the deaths of five people. In addition, at least 34 people were hospitalized in twelve different states. Lawsuits are still pending against the company because of this recall.
Sabra Dipping Co., Hummus
Yet another potential listeria outbreak was averted when Sabra Dipping Co. voluntarily recalled 30,000 cases of its popular line of hummus. The recall was nationwide after a possible link to listeria bacteria in one of their processing plants.
Kraft, Macaroni and Cheese
Another major food recall in 2015 involved one of the biggest selling comfort foods on the market, Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. This recall involved 6.5 million boxes being pulled from the market because of small pieces of metal being found in some boxes. These foreign objects were not attributed to any illnesses or injuries.
Pepperidge Farm, Bagels
The next major food recall of the year occurred in February. Pepperidge Farm recalled 46,000 bagel packages because of a possible contamination with nuts. Because the potential was there for peanuts and almonds to have contaminated the food, the recall was issued despite there being no reports of injuries or illness. This is usually the case with companies who wish to head off the potential for liability and lawsuits.