Peanut-Contaminated Cumin Leads to Massive Recall

FREECASE EVALUATION

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Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) came into effect in 2006.  It started simply enough at the end of 2014 when Adams Flavors, Foods and Ingredients issued a voluntary recall for several of its spice products after one of their suppliers said they purchased cumin from them and found undeclared peanut proteins.

Since 2015, the number of companies that issued recalls because of tainted cumin is now in the double-digits and has impacted hundreds of different products. That number is expected to continue rising as potential contamination makes its way through the supply chain.

The list of items impacted so far include:

  • Spice mixes
  • Hummus
  • Over 350,000 pounds of seasoned beef, poultry and pork product
  • A single Pennsylvania company recalled more than 35,000 pounds of its chili products and more than 500 of its spice products from shelves nationwide.
  • Morningstar Farms’ black bean burgers
  • S. Foods’ beef fajita strips
  • Adams Flavors, Foods, and Ingredients’ breadcrumbs
  • Campos Foods’ chicken
  • Garcia Foods’ pork sausage
  • Franklin Farms’ veggie burgers
  • Ortega taco products
  • List of Private Selection products.
  • List of products sold at Target and Fresh Market nationwide.

This is not a complete list and the list of items is expected to continue to grow. There are several other factors involved that makes it confusing to know whether an item is affected or not.

  1. Under U.S. labeling rules, individual spices don’t need to be declared on a product’s ingredients list. So just because “cumin” doesn’t show up in the list of ingredients doesn’t mean that it isn’t present. It could be hidden behind words like “spices” or “flavor”.
  2. Cumin is often a part of spice blends, including chili powder and curry, making it possible to be present in a very wide variety of foods.
  3. Cumin is a popular ingredient in Tex-Mex and Indian foods served in restaurants.

Fortunately, no deaths or allergic reactions have been reported to the FDA or USDA from these products.  Anybody with a peanut allergy should exercise caution and be aware that of all products listed in the series of recalls. It’s also important to remain updated as more products are being added as manufacturers are notified of the contaminated cumin.

For the most up-to-date information about food products affected by the cumin recall, including lot numbers and label photos, check the official FDA and USDA recalls pages.

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