On March 8, 2010, Procter & Gamble Co. announced a voluntary recall of two flavors of Pringles potato crisps, in response to a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommendation to the food industry to recall all foods containing certain lots of a recalled flavor enhancer. The flavor enhancer ingredient, hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP), may have been contaminated with Salmonella. Pringles flavors affected by the recall include:
- Restaurant Cravers Cheeseburger, Super Stack Canister (“Best by” date: 03/2011, 04/2011, 05/2011)
- Family Faves Taco Night, Super Stack Canister (“Best by” date: 02/2011, 04/2011)
The Pringles recall is the latest announcement in an industry-wide ingredient recall of all foods containing HVP manufactured by Basic Food Flavors, Inc., a Las Vegas-based manufacturing plant. HVP is a flavor enhancer used in many processed foods and spices.
During an inspection of the Basic Food Flavors facility in January 2010, FDA investigators discovered unsanitary equipment, poor drainage, and standing pools of liquid that tested positive for Salmonella.
Though there have been no reports of Salmonella-related illness so far, more than 50 product recalls have been issued to protect consumer safety. Products affected by the recall include chips, dips, sauces, soups, salad dressings, onion rings, stews, gravy, snack mixes, and others.
Salmonella can cause serious and potentially fatal infections in children, elderly people, and those with weakened immune systems. In others, Salmonella infection can cause abdominal pain, fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, and vomiting, and in some cases could lead to arthritis, endocarditis, or arterial infection.