Santa is in hibernation and is probably unhappy about the latest food recall.
Hostess voluntarily recalled its holiday-edition White Peppermint Twinkies over potential salmonella contamination. According to the recall statement published by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, a confectionary coating on the cakes is believed to contain milk powder that has also been recalled by dairy manufacturer Valley Milk Products.
Blommer Chocolate Co., which supplied the coating for the Twinkies, issued a recall on the said coating.
Latest Recall Events
No sickness has been reported so far and no confectionary coating sample has been tested positive for salmonella, the FDA said, adding that Hostess initiated the recall as a form of caution.
Consumers who purchased the holiday Twinkies are encouraged to return the product to the place of purchase for a full refund. They may call Hostess at 1-800-483-7253 on weekdays for inquiries.
The recall applies to the said Twinkies variety sold throughout the United States in multi-pack boxes containing nine individually wrapped pieces. It does not cover any other products of the Kansas-based snack brand.
Virginia-based Valley Milk issued a similar food recall back in December, covering its powdered milk and buttermilk goods. In that case, the FDA focused on the company’s cleaning records for equipment used in the powdered products’ production.
It is not all sweet and happy in candyland, too, with Palmer Candy Co. announcing a similar recall for a couple of chocolate confections, such as covered pretzels, almond and peppermint bark and candy party bowls.
Palmer Candy president and CEO Marty Palmer apologized for any distress over the recall, and asserted that they “remain committed to the highest standards in food quality and safety.”
The Matter With Salmonella
The holiday-cakes recall is not the only bad news for holiday revelers. A 2015 study led by University of Georgia researchers discovered that salmonella and other pathogenic bacteria can actually survive for at least six months in holiday cookies and crackers.
The findings were deemed surprising, as salmonella is not expected to thrive in foods that have a very dry environment.
The team used five salmonella types obtained from foods in earlier disease outbreaks, adding the salmonella to vanilla and chocolate cookie fillings as well as cheese and peanut butter cracker fillings. They found that the bacteria lived in all four fillings, but survived longer in crackers than in cookies, sometimes for six months at a minimum.
Salmonella can cause serious, sometimes deadly infections among young children, the elderly, sick and immune-compromised individuals. In healthy persons, salmonella infection usually results in fever, diarrhea (sometimes with blood), nausea, vomiting, abdominal pains and passing after four to seven days without being treated.
In rare cases, the infection can get the bug into the bloodstream and produce a more severe illness, including infected aneurysms, arthritis and endocarditis. Treatment typically involves antibiotics.
Salmonella is implicated in around 1 million cases of foodborne conditions in the United States every year, leading to about 19,000 hospitalizations and 380 deaths from poisoning.
Salmonella contamination can occur in different forms, such as in raw meat drippings contaminating kitchen counters, and in simply using a knife and cutting board to prepare food. Contaminated foods often smell and look normal.