Crumbs — that's a big recall

By Janette Woodhouse
Tuesday, 13 June, 2017

Mislabelling by a single breadcrumb supplier has led to recalls of 1.398 million kilos of food in the US.

A week ago an unnamed US breadcrumb supplier advised its clients that its crumbs had been incorrectly labelled and that they did contain milk products. Since then nine manufacturers have issued recalls of the products they made that incorporated the breadcrumbs as they were in contravention of labelling laws because milk was not declared on their product labels.

Company Quantity recalled Products recalled
Conagra Brands 717,338 pounds spaghetti and meatball products
Pork King Sausage 44,035 pounds raw sausage link products
Advance Pierre Foods 54,699 pounds chicken products
Aldon Food Corporation 18,570 pounds chicken salad
Maid-Rite Specialty Foods 174,000 pounds various beef products
Packer Avenue Foods 9690 pounds ready-to-eat (RTE) chicken salad
Gourmet Boutique LLC 294,744 pounds ready-to-eat (RTE) chicken products
Tyson Foods 2,485,374 pounds ready-to-eat (RTE) breaded chicken products
Water Lilies Food 4335 pounds ready-to-eat breaded chicken products

The fact that these nine companies are faced with managing the recalls and the resultant loss of credibility because of their supplier’s error while the breadcrumb supplier can remain basically anonymous seems unreasonable.

I realise that there will be a wash of court cases from the breadcrumb users and losses will ultimately be recovered, but it is still a pretty tough position they find themselves in. Yes, they could have tested their incoming breadcrumbs for the presence of milk but this is like the horse-meat substitution scandal — how much testing does a company need to do to establish that what shouldn’t be in a product isn’t there?

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