Salads are a go-to lunch and dinner staple, and they’re also a pretty reliable option if you’re looking to eat something healthy at a restaurant. With so many types of salads to choose from, it’s fun to mix it up—maybe you order a savory Greek salad or prefer to mix things up with a sweet and salty poke salad. You can add or subtract different ingredients to suit your tastes and maybe your calorie count, but you’re not likely to skip the dressing altogether. If you favor a particular variety, you’ll want to heed a new warning from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Read on to find out what popular salad dressing is now subject to recall, and why the FDA is asking you to stop using it.
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Recalls can be both scary and inconvenient, but they’re also put in place to protect the public from potential health hazards. These apply to all foods, and dressings and sauces are no exception. Earlier this year, Conagra Brands issued a voluntary recall for its Wish-Bone Thousand Island and Chunky Blue Cheese dressings, due to presence of an undeclared allergen—egg. Consumers were instructed to throw recalled dressings out and report any adverse reactions to a doctor.
Condiments have also been under fire, as just last week, Rushdi Food Industries announced a voluntary recall of its Mighty Sesame 10.9 Oz Organic Tahini (Squeezable). Tahini, a condiment made from ground sesame seeds, has multiple uses, including a salad topping. The tahini products were pulled due to potential contamination with Salmonella, and consumers were instructed to “discontinue use immediately.”
Now, another dressing is facing scrutiny, and it’s used in one of the most popular salads.
Caesar salad, made with romaine lettuce, croutons, Parmesan cheese, and traditionally, anchovies, is a classic. Interestingly, it has nothing to do with the famed Roman dictator Julius Caesar, but was actually named for Italian chef Caesar Cardini, who first concocted and served the salad in Tijuana, Mexico, in 1924. And if you’re a Caesar salad-lover, you know that it’s not complete without its signature Caesar dressing.
You might prefer to make your dressing from scratch, but if you buy it from the grocery store instead, there’s one particular variety you’ll need to avoid.
On Aug. 26, Van Law Food Products Inc. issued a voluntary recall of its Whole Foods Market 365 Organic Creamy Caesar Dressing, according to a notice posted by the FDA. The salad dressing was packed in 12-ounce glass bottles and sold either in the produce or dairy department at Whole Foods Markets across the U.S.
Recalled products were distributed in Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
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The Caesar salad dressing products were recalled after it was learned that they contained soy and wheat, which are are both known (and common) allergens.
Neither allergen was listed on the salad dressing’s label, meaning people with allergies or sensitivities could unknowingly purchase and consume these products. This could then lead to a “serious or life-threatening allergic reaction,” the recall notice states.
An investigation into the labeling mishap revealed that the issue was caused “when the back label from another product was mistakenly put on the product being recalled.”
To date, there hasn’t been any reports of illness, but the FDA is still asking consumers to proceed with caution. If you purchased this dressing from Whole Foods, check to see if your bottle is involved in the recall by looking for the Universal Product Code (UPC) of 99482-49027 and the Best by date of April 6, 2023.
The FDA instructs those who purchased the dressing to throw it away and request a refund at the store by providing your receipt.
For questions pertaining to the recall, consumers are instructed to call Whole Foods Market at 1-844-936-8255 between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. Central Standard Time (CST).