The US Food and Drug Administration has announced a recall of many products containing a substance referred to as hydrolyzed vegetable protein. The hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP) in these recalled products may be tainted with Salmonella, and the FDA has requested all affected batches of powder and paste HVP be destroyed by the manufacturer.
The recall has an impact on Johnny's Fine Foods, T. Marzetti, Castella Imports, Tim's Cascade Snacks, Homemade Gourmet, Earth Island, McCormick & Company and Fresh Food Concepts products, among others. (Click here to download the full recall list.) The FDA also is recommending consumers discard or return potentially affected products to stores, and to keep abreast of a growing list of food items concerned. The manufacturer of the HVP in question is listed as Basic Food Flavors, based in Las Vegas, and makes hydrolyzed vegetable protein that ends up in thousands of packages of food all over the country. The batches of HVP, a common flavor booster in many packaged food items, possibly affected by the recall include any lots manufactured by Basic Food Flavors as of September 2009. The FDA's recall of Basic Food Flavors brand HVP, and products that may contain the tainted ingredient, comes after a consumer complaint citing positive test results on a Salmonella test. Follow-up testing by FDA officials confirmed the presence of a strain of Salmonella in a batch of the Basic Food HVP, prompting the recall announced yesterday on the food safety council's Web site.
This new hydrolyzed vegetable protein recall comes on the heels of several food recalls over the last several years, including recalls of commonly consumed food items such as produce (spinach, tomatoes, green onions) and pantry staples such as peanut butter. "This situation clearly underscores the need for new food safety legislation to equip FDA with the tools we need to prevent contamination," said Dr. Jeff Farrar, associate commissioner for food protection, FDA's Office of Foods, in a press release.