Start watching
Tending Nature poster 2021

Tending Nature

Start watching

Southland Sessions

Start watching

Earth Focus

Start watching

Reporter Roundup

Start watching

City Rising

Start watching

Lost LA

Start watching
Your donation supports our high-quality, inspiring and commercial-free programming.
Support Icon
Learn about the many ways to support KCET.
Support Icon
Contact our Leadership, Advancement, Membership and Special Events teams.

Where To Find Out About Food Recalls


Recently, seven tons of hummus were recalled from places like Trader Joe's due to possible listeria contamination. Nine hundred tons of beef were recalled after an outbreak of E.coli. Kraft decided to recall 1.2 million cases of their cottage cheese after it was discovered they weren't being stored at the correct temperature. In short, it was a scary time in the world of food safety.

But did you know that these were only three of the nine food recalls this past week? Not all of them get reported on a massive scale, which means it's up to the consumer to stay aware of the latest in recall announcements. Luckily, there's an easy way to do that.

First off, here are the other food recalls you may have missed this week:

1. Sherman Produce from St. Louis recalled over 6,000 pounds of walnuts because they may have been contaminated by listeria.

2. The Middle East Bakery from Maine recalled their Market Basket Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free Pancakes because they contain unlabeled milk, making this a big risk for those with dairy allergies.

3. WhiteWave Foods recalled 21,402 half-gallon containers of their popular Silk Light Original Soy Milk, also because of labeling issues. In this case, it contained unlabeled almond milk, putting people with nut allergies at risk.

4. The American Waffle Company recalled 480 cases of their Gluten-Free Blueberry Pancakes because they also contained "undeclared milk."

5. Prime Pak Foods recalled 23,250 pounds of chicken breasts and tenders because their recipe contained milk, eggs, and wheat that was not announced on the label.

6. Transatlantic Foods recalled 449,000 pounds of pork because of labels saying they contained no antibiotics. Turns out, this wasn't the case at all.

Just by looking at the above recalls, you can figure out a few reasons why these recalls didn't quite crack the newspaper front pages.

Primary is the number of illnesses reported, which are very low or nonexistent. While all recalls are technically considered preventative -- as in, they're issued in order to prevent further illnesses -- the above low-reported recalls lack a large number of reported illnesses. At the most, one person reported being sick from contamination or by ingesting an allergen. Mostly, the recalls were issued because of the possibility of future illnesses. As the old saying goes, "if it bleeds, it leads." And if it doesn't even get sick, it doesn't get covered.

Another thing to look at is that most of the above cases are labeling issues that "only" affects people with allergens. Large scale contaminations like listeria or E.coli make news cycles because of the possibility of affecting large populations. It may not be fair, but that's the reality.

All that said, there is a way to get the above information easily, and that's through the FoodSafety.gov website. They keep a constantly updated list of food recalls that have been issued. If you want to be cautious, go ahead and bookmark that page and check it every so often. Or, you can sign up to receive an automatic email alert or text on your mobile phone whenever a food has been recalled.

Either option is smart, especially if you have a food allergy. As you can tell from above, mislabeling of allergens is a pretty consistent concern, and one that's not necessarily going to be covered by the media.

Want recipes and food news emailed directly to you? Sign up for the new Food newsletter here!

Support Provided By
Support Provided By
Read More
Two rows of colorfully lit Christmas trees at Hikari – A Festival of Lights at Tanaka Farms. | Sandi Hemmerlein

Six SoCal Holiday Lights Drive-Thrus and Drive-Bys for 2020

Haul out the holly and fill up the stockings. We need a little Christmas! Here are some of the best drive-thru holiday experiences in Southern California.
Ballona Lagoon “Lighthouse” Bridge | Sandi Hemmerlein

Where to Explore 5 of L.A.’s Great Footbridges

Here’s where to find five of L.A.’s most scenic bridge crossings — and why they’re fascinating destinations in their own right.
Malibu Wine Hikes take visitors through the Semler family’s Saddlerock Ranch vineyards | Sandi Hemmerlein

13 SoCal Open-Air Adventures That Are Off the Beaten Path

Looking for outdoor options beyond your local park or playground? Here’s a guide to going off the beaten path with some of the best open-air attractions SoCal has to offer.