Food & Drink

The possibility of salmonella in the seasoning causes a recall at Walmart and H-E-B

What is salmonella and how do you keep from getting it?

Salmonella causes about 1.2 million illnesses and 450 deaths in the U.S. every year, according to the CDC. The bacteria is typically transmitted through contaminated food, but some simple preventative measures can keep you from getting sick.
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Salmonella causes about 1.2 million illnesses and 450 deaths in the U.S. every year, according to the CDC. The bacteria is typically transmitted through contaminated food, but some simple preventative measures can keep you from getting sick.

A salmonella problem at an ingredient supplier caused the recall of store brand taco seasonings at Walmarts in 42 states and Texas supermarket chain H-E-B.

But the supplier said Friday afternoon via email to the Miami Herald that everything should be under control now.

First, this recall covers Great Value Mild Taco Seasoning Mix in 1-ounce packets with best by dates of 7/8/2021 or 7/9/2021. These are sold in Walmarts in the District of Columbia and every state except Alaska, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Vermont.

Also recalled is H-E-B Taco Seasoning Mix Reduced Sodium in 1.25-ounce packets with “better if used by” dates of 7/10/2021, 7/11/2021 and 7/15/2021.

Customers with these packets should toss them out or return them to the store for a full refund. Those with questions can call the seasonings’ manufacturer, Williams Foods, at 800-847-5608, Monday through Friday, 9 am. to 6 p.m., Eastern time. Or e-mail customerservice@chg.com.

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As Williams Foods explains in its recall notice, the potential problem is with one lot of cumin in the seasoning from ingredient supplier Mincing Spice. Mincing recalled the lot when one of its customers found potential salmonella contamination in the lot.

Williams Foods received some of that lot. But an email from Mincing said that’s where the threat to the consumers should stop.

“Williams is our only customer producing for retail sale,” Mincing executive vice president Nagy Beskal said via email. “All other affected recalled product is under our control or complete control of our customers. None have been used at all, are not available for retail sale, or in any food products.”

Often, when there’s a problem at the ingredient supplier level, there’s a bigger ripple effect than at the manufacturer level. That happened a year ago, July 2018, when a whey powder supplier’s salmonella issue turned into a week of precautionary recalls of food from Swiss rolls to Goldfish crackers and, last fall, with the McCain Foods shower of recalls.

Salmonella hits about 1.2 million people in the United States each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hospitalizing 23,000 with bloody diarrhea and killing 450. Like most foodborne illnesses, senior citizens, children under the age of 5 and people with damaged immune systems are most vulnerable to its worst effects.

Since 1989, David J. Neal’s domain at the Miami Herald has expanded to include writing about Panthers (NHL and FIU), Dolphins, old school animation, food safety, fraud, naughty lawyers, bad doctors and all manner of breaking news. He drinks coladas whole. He does not work Indianapolis 500 Race Day.
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