Salmonella Contamination Suspected; Milk Powder Recalled

Milk Prices Could Rise Dramatically With Fiscal Cliff Failure
CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 27: In this photo illustration, milk and cookies sit on a counter on December 27, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. Milk prices could spike to $6 to $8 a gallon in January if lawmakers fail to reach a 'fiscal cliff' deal and renew a Farm Bill that's been in place since 2008 and sets the price at which the government buys milk. Photo : (Photo Illustration by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

A total of eight food recalls have been issued by The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) over the past week - due to a suspected Salmonella contamination of a milk powder.

The contaminated milk powder is made by Valley Milk Products. The products include Valley Milk's High Heat Nonfat Dry Milk Powder and Sweet Cream Buttermilk Powder. Both varieties are being sold in 50-pound bags to different food companies across the country.

"These products are not sold directly to consumers, but are used as ingredients in a number of foods such as bakery products and distributed by brokers," according to the recall statement released by Valley Milk Products.

Salmonella Contamination

FDA found Salmonella residues on the processing facility and food contact surfaces of the company's production facility. According to the agency, Salmonella traces were seen even after the areas have been cleaned.

Valley Milk however confirmed that none of the tested milk powder samples yielded positive results for Salmonella bacteria. FDA's announcement however still resulted to the several recalls from the other companies using the milk powder in their products.

Bran Castle LLC, an Ohio-based company, recalled its 16-ounce red boxes of Monkey Bread Mix. The product has already been shipped to about 40 states including Washington, Arizona, Florida, and Massachusetts. Food manufacturers using the possibly contaminated milk powder did voluntary recalls over the past week.

"The health and safety of our consumers is always our top priority," founder of Deep River Snacks, Jim Goldberg, said. "Although we haven't found any contaminants in either our seasonings or our finished products, we are taking great precautions to protect our customers."

Here's a full list of companies and affected products:

• Valley Milk Products: nonfat high heat milk powder and sweet cream buttermilk powder

• Publix Super Market: pancake and waffle mixes

• Shearer's Foods, LLC: kettle chips, potato chips, and nacho chips

• Deep River Snacks: kettle chips

• Boulder Brands, Inc.: macaroni and cheese

• Stonewall Kitchen: pancake and waffle mixes

• TreeHouse Foods, Inc.: macaroni and cheese

• New Hope Mills: crepe mix

• Fourth Street Barbecue Inc.: macaroni and cheese

• Brand Castle, LLC: monkey bread mix

As of now, there have been no reports of infection from any of the suspected products. All customers who purchased the mentioned products are requested to get rid of them or return them from their place of purchase and request for a refund.

FDA confirmed that Valley Milk is currently doing investigations on the cause of the inspection results. The milk company has already informed all companies using the suspected milk powder and buttermilk powder and requested destruction of the products. All companies involved are also advised to review food processing practices and clean equipment thoroughly to avoid contamination.

Salmonella Infection: Poses Health Threats

Salmonella infection can result to nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal cramps, and fever. Most reported cases of Salmonella infection have proven costive recovery minus any treatment. However, for children, the elderly and individuals with weak immune systems, Salmonella infection may cause serious health threats even leading to death. Rare cases may also lead to Salmonella infection reaching the bloodstream causing further infections such as arterial infections, endocarditis, and arthritis.

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