As the largest grocery chain in the U.S., millions of people rely on Kroger to stock their fridges, pantries, cupboards, and freezers. The stores carry everything from essential basic ingredients to thoughtfully prepared foods and everything in between, making it easy to get what you need for your weekly meals, pick up snacks, and prepare for a party all as a one-stop destination. But now, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) is warning that certain dips and other related products sold at Kroger could be putting your health at risk. Read on to see which items you should be throwing away immediately.
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Food safety overview is an important process that doesn’t just end when an item is packaged and shipped to a store. In many cases, regulators will discover potential health risks only after products have been placed on shelves that require a recall—including a few that took place over the summer.
On Aug. 26, the FDA announced that Van Law Food Products Inc. had issued a voluntary recall of its Whole Foods Market 365 Organic Creamy Caesar Dressing. The agency said the product contained both soy and wheat, which are known common allergens that weren’t listed on the label. The recall notice warned that some people could have a “serious or life-threatening allergic reaction” if they consumed the dressing.
The agency issued another public notice just days later, announcing on Aug. 29 that Pennsylvania-based Keswick Creamery had initiated a recall on 10 kinds of cheese. In this case, the company pulled the items from shelves after discovering they could potentially be contaminated by dangerous Listeria monocytogenes bacteria. Keswick Creamery warned customers not to consume the products and instead to throw them out immediately and contact the company for a full refund.
And on Sept. 17, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced that Texas-based Valley International Cold Storage Acquisition, LLC had issued a recall on roughly 22,061 pounds of its frozen beef products. Despite being labeled as “Healthy Choice POWER BOWLS Korean-Style Beef,” customer complaints led the company to discover that the packaged meals contained a chicken-based product made with undeclared milk, which is a known food allergen.
Now, officials are warning about another potential food-related risk.
On Sept. 20, the FDA announced that the GHGA company had issued a recall for a wide range of dips and ready-to-eat vegetable products sold at Kroger supermarkets. The 25 affected items include guacamole, salsa, pico de gallo, Mexican layered bean dip, and mango salsa, as well as diced red onion, diced bell pepper and white onion, asparagus saute, mushroom stir fry blend, steak topper, “hamburger fixin’,” and more. The complete list can be viewed on the FDA’s notice.
The company distributed the recalled products to Kroger locations on Sept. 11, 2022, and they were sold in stores’ deli and produce sections in Alabama, South Carolina, and Georgia. While the sell-by date for the items has expired and they are no longer on shelves, the agency is concerned that consumers could still have them in their refrigerators.
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According to the FDA’s notice, GHGA issued the recall after a lab test came back positive for Listeria monocytogenes on a single product sample on Sept. 16. The agency warns that the dangerous bacteria can cause “short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea” in healthy people.
But infections can be “serious and sometimes fatal” in young children, elderly persons, and anyone who is immunocompromised, or cause miscarriages and stillbirths among anyone who is pregnant.
Fortunately, the FDA reports that no one has reported illnesses related to the recall so far. GHGA has also notified Kroger to ensure that any remaining affected products have been pulled from shelves.
If you have any of the dips or ready-to-eat vegetables that are part of the recall, the agency advises you to throw them away or return them to Kroger for a full refund. Customers with questions can also contact GHGA’s customer service department by calling the number listed on the FDA’s notice.