6 food recalls parents need to know about

And what the recent frequency of recalls means for food safety.

6 food recalls parents need to know about

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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14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.


Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!


Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.


Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.


Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.


Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.


Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.


Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.


Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.


Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.


Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.


Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.


Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.


Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.


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