Romaine, eggs, frozen broccoli, cereal, crackers...the list of food products impacted by recalls recently is extensive and even a little exhausting.

When we're constantly bombarded by news alerts about recalled foods it can start to feel like our food supply chain isn't safe, and worse, consumers can develop recall fatigue, a phrase experts use to describe what happens when people are just tuning out or ignoring recall information because all the recalls have just blurred together for them.

It is important to be aware of which products are being recalled and why, and we shouldn't be scared. The frequency of recalls actually suggests that the way food-borne illnesses and contamination are being tracked and traced is improving, and so is the safety of the food we're feeding our kids.

The recent recall of Goldfish crackers is a great example of this. No illnesses were reported when Pepperidge Farm voluntarily recalled several varieties of Goldfish. It was done out of an abundance of caution and to avoid people becoming sick, not because people were.

"I think companies are maybe doing a better job of reporting those things," Lana Nwadike, a food safety specialist with Kansas State University and the University of Missouri, recently told Illinois Newsroom.

Her comments echo those Dr. William Hallman, professor and chair of Rutgers Department of Human Ecology, made in an interview with Food Drive last year. "It reflects a food industry that takes contamination and foodborne illnesses seriously. Increasingly companies are willing to recall their products rather than expose customers to potential harm," he told Food Drive. "So more companies are taking a cautionary approach even when the products they produce have not been definitively linked to an outbreak."

Sometimes, though, consumers don't get so lucky. In another recent recall case, that of Kellogg's Honey Smacks cereal, 100 people became ill after eating the cereal, some even after it had been recalled.

That is why we've got to try our best to fight against recall fatigue. The recalls don't always mean our families aren't safe, but they can help us keep them safe.

Here are six recalls parents need to know about this summer:

1. Kellog's Honey Smacks

Like we said, this cereal was originally recalled in June due to an outbreak of salmonella, but even after the recall, people kept getting sick. By July 12, 100 people had fallen ill and the CDC had to go a step further and warn the public to not eat, sell or buy the cereal, regardless of the best before date or UPC code.

2. Ritz Cracker sandwiches and Ritz Bits.

Sometimes a recall leads to more recalls, which was the case in the recent Ritz cracker recall, which occurred after the whey powder used in the crackers was recalled by its supplier due to the potential presence of Salmonella.

The recall impacts the sandwich-style Ritz varieties, including the individually packaged cups and bags of cheese-flavored Ritz Bits.

Mondelēz Global has recalled 16 varieties of Ritz Cracker Sandwiches and Ritz Bits Product in the U.S. (as well as five cheese and pizza flavors in Canada). The company says no illnesses have been reported.

3. Some varieties of Goldfish crackers

The same whey powder recall that lead to the Ritz recall is what prompted Pepperidge Farms to pull four flavors of Goldfish crackers, Goldfish Baked with Whole Grain Xtra Cheddar, Goldfish Mix Xtra Cheddar + Pretzel, as well as the Flavor Blasted Xtra Cheddar and Flavor Blasted Sour Cream & Onion varieties. The precautionary measure seems to have worked as the company has not reported an illnesses.

4. McDonalds salads

According to a statement from McDonalds, "the FDA, CDC, along with state and local officials are investigating a multi-state outbreak of cyclosporiasis illnesses likely linked to salads from McDonald's restaurants in 10 states."

As of August 2, 2018, 395 laboratory-confirmed cases of Cyclospora infection were reported in people who consumed salads from McDonald's restaurants, according to the CDC.

McDonalds temporarily stopped selling salads at some stores until a safe lettuce supply was sourced.

5. Certain lettuce-based salads and wraps from various retailers

The same lettuce supplier linked to the McDonalds outbreak, Fresh Express, is the subject of an a U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) public health alert issued in an "abundance of caution" regarding contamination with Cyclospora.The impacted products are salads and wraps sold at retailers including Kroger, Trader Joe's and Walgreens.

6. Almond Breeze

Parasites like Cyclospora aren't the only contaminant that can cause a product to be recalled. Undeclared allergens may be totally safe for some consumers, but quite dangerous to others. That's why some Almond Breeze almond milk is being recalled. Half-gallon Vanilla Almond Breeze cartons with a use by date of September 2 may contain dairy. According to the FDA, there has been one report of an allergic reaction.

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When I was expecting my first child, I wanted to know everything that could possibly be in store for his first year.

I quizzed my own mom and the friends who ventured into motherhood before I did. I absorbed parenting books and articles like a sponge. I signed up for classes on childbirth, breastfeeding and even baby-led weaning. My philosophy? The more I knew, the better.

Yet, despite my best efforts, I didn't know it all. Not by a long shot. Instead, my firstborn, my husband and I had to figure it out together—day by day, challenge by challenge, triumph by triumph.


The funny thing is that although I wanted to know it all, the surprises—those moments that were unique to us—were what made that first year so beautiful.

Of course, my research provided a helpful outline as I graduated from never having changed a diaper to conquering the newborn haze, my return to work, the milestones and the challenges. But while I did need much of that tactical knowledge, I also learned the value of following my baby's lead and trusting my gut.

I realized the importance of advice from fellow mamas, too. I vividly remember a conversation with a friend who had her first child shortly before I welcomed mine. My friend, who had already returned to work after maternity leave, encouraged me to be patient when introducing a bottle and to help my son get comfortable with taking that bottle from someone else.

Yes, from a logistical standpoint, that's great advice for any working mama. But I also took an incredibly important point from this conversation: This was less about the act of bottle-feeding itself, and more about what it represented for my peace of mind when I was away from my son.

This fellow mama encouraged me to honor my emotions and give myself permission to do what was best for my family—and that really set the tone for my whole approach to parenting. Because honestly, that was just the first of many big transitions during that first year, and each of them came with their own set of mixed emotions.

I felt proud and also strangely nostalgic as my baby seamlessly graduated to a sippy bottle.

I felt my baby's teething pain along with him and also felt confident that we could get through it with the right tools.

I felt relieved as my baby learned to self-soothe by finding his own pacifier and also sad to realize how quickly he was becoming his own person.

As I look back on everything now, some four years and two more kids later, I can't remember the exact day my son crawled, the project I tackled on my first day back at work, or even what his first word was. (It's written somewhere in a baby book!)

But I do remember how I felt with each milestone: the joy, the overwhelming love, the anxiety, the exhaustion and the sense of wonder. That truly was the greatest gift of the first year… and nothing could have prepared me for all those feelings.

This article was sponsored by Dr. Brown's. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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As mamas we want our babies to be safe, and that's what makes what happened to Glee actress Naya Rivera and her 4-year-old son Josey so heartbreaking.

On July 13, the Ventura County Sheriff's Department announced the 33-year-old mother's body was found at Lake Piru, five days after her son was found floating alone on a rented boat. According to Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub, Rivera's last action was to save her son.

"We know from speaking with her son that he and Naya swam in the lake together at some point in her journey. It was at that time that her son described being helped into the boat by Naya, who boosted him onto the deck from behind. He told investigators that he looked back and saw her disappear under the surface of the water," Ayub explained, adding that Rivera's son was wearing his life vest, but the adult life vest was left on the unanchored boat.


Ayub says exactly what caused the drowning is still speculation but investigators believe the boat started drifting and that Rivera "mustered enough energy to get her son back onto the boat but not enough to save herself."

Our hearts are breaking for Josey and his dad right now. So much is unknown about what happened on Lake Piru but one thing is crystal clear: Naya Rivera has always loved her son with all her heart.

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