First Ritz crackers and now Goldfish. Two popular snacks are being recalled because they might be contaminated with salmonella.
The recall might be puzzling. No one has been reported sick, and these are dry, baked goods. How could they even be contaminated by bacteria?
It has to do with that salty coating on the crackers.
The recalls were forced because an industrial supplier of dried whey has reported possible salmonella contamination.
Whey is a byproduct of dairy processing, used in making cheese and yogurt. And it’s used to make the coating found on many processed foods, including crackers. As with any animal product, it can be contaminated with germs, including salmonella.
“It’s in the seasoning that’s applied,” Bethridge Toovell, a spokeswoman for Pepperidge Farm, which makes Goldfish, told NBC News.
“We were notified by our whey supplier that they had recalled the product,” Toovell said. “When we looked through and conducted an assessment, a thorough investigation, we determined there was a very low risk. But out of an abundance of caution for our consumers, we erred on the side of recall.”
The Food and Drug Administration has stressed that the products were recalled just to be safe. None of the recalled products has tested positive for salmonella. “The company is conducting this recall as a precaution, based on the ingredient supplier’s recall,” the FDA said in a statement.
And people can expect more recalls.
“We believe these products may contain a common whey ingredient supplied by Associated Milk Producers Inc., that may have been contaminated with salmonella,” FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said in a statement.
“As there are likely other food products made by other manufacturers that also use this common ingredient, there may be other recalls initiated in the coming days. We are also aware that our partners at the U.S. Department of Agriculture are working with Pinnacle Foods Inc. on a public health alert regarding certain Hungry Man products that may also contain this ingredient.”
Salmonella is a very common germ, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.
“CDC estimates salmonella causes about 1.2 million illnesses, 23,000 hospitalizations, and 450 deaths in the United States every year. Food is the source for about 1 million of these illnesses,” the CDC says on its website.
Germs can get into just about any product and cooking doesn’t always …