If you have read my earlier posts on the topic of so-called "foreign materials" in the U.S. food supply (bits of metal, plastic, glass and so on), you will realize that I think the problem has become worse because of our struggling economy. That is, food processing companies are trying to save on maintenance and replacement of aging equipment. But of course, this is not the only cause.
And the problem is continuing. In the past few days alone, BBU, Inc., the parent of the Bimbo Bakeries companies, has issued another recall due to possible presence of flexible wire or mesh in a host of their bakery products (see the alerts link on this page). They already recalled a number of products. Apparently the cause was a faulty screen at a flour mill, from which they bought their flour (Dakota Specialty Milling). This resulted in bits of wire mesh getting into the flour, and from there into the buns and other baked products at Bimbo Bakeries. It seems that Heartland Brands® also sourced ingredients from this mill. It has had to recall two varieties of its granola cereals in the United States, Bahamas, Bermuda, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Israel and Trinidad. (The "foreign materials" may now have travelled to several foreign countries!).
Also, Smithfield Packing Company, a Smithfield, Va. today recalled some 38,000 pounds of pork sausage because it may contain small pieces of plastic, likely from gloves. If you have read The Safe Food Handbook, you will realize there are all kinds of things in sausages, but really...rubber gloves?
And don't think odd things are turning up only in human food. Our pets may be at risk too. Also in the past few days, Nature's Variety has announced a recall of one batch of Instinct® Raw Organic Chicken Formula because pieces of clear plastic may be found in some bags (they could cause your pet to choke).
Oh well...Take your pick: odd foreign materials in the U.S. food supply, or, rat poop in cashews and almonds sold in the UK (also discovered recently).
To your good health,
UPDATE: So finally Dakota Specialty Milling has got around to doing its own recall of those flour products that contain bits of wire. About time too!