McCormick recalls processed mixes

FDA says no one's become ill from the salmonella-contaminated ingredient

March 06, 2010|By Liz F. Kay | liz.kay@baltsun.com

McCormick & Co. announced a recall of four processed foods Friday afternoon because of possible salmonella contamination of an ingredient.

The Sparks-based company recalled packages of French onion dip mix, vegetable dip mix, onion gravy mix and corn bread stuffing mix, all of which contained hydrolyzed vegetable protein manufactured by Basic Food Flavors of Las Vegas.

Another manufacturer, a Basic Food Flavors customer, detected the contamination and reported it to the FDA. That company is recalling all the hydrolyzed vegetable protein produced since Sept. 17, 2009.

FDA officials said Thursday that the ingredient is used in thousands of food products, though it was unclear how many of them will be recalled.

The FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said no illnesses or deaths have been reported. Federal officials said the public health threat is low because most products containing HVP are cooked during processing or carry cooking instructions for consumers, so any salmonella would be destroyed before the food was eaten.

McCormick spokesman John McCormick said the company is not releasing the number of products that have been sold that contain the potentially contaminated ingredient. However, "we have full traceability" and can work with the customers individually to remove the affected items, he said.

"We know exactly where it went," McCormick said.

The recalled component was listed on McCormick product packaging as "hydrolyzed soy protein," "hydrolyzed corn gluten" or "hydrolyzed wheat gluten," the spokesman said.

The French onion dip and onion gravy mix were shipped nationwide and overseas. The vegetable dip mix was distributed nationally, and the corn bread stuffing mix went to Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Pennsylvania, according to the company.

The Associated Press and The Washington Post contributed to this article.

Recalled products
For a full list of items being recalled, go to foodsafety.gov

Consumers who purchased recalled packages of McCormick products can get a replacement or refund by contacting the company. Call 800-632-5847 from 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends or write consumer_affairs@mccormick.com

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