It may seem like there are more recalls than ever these days, but that's actually a good thing for parents. It means fewer potentially dangerous products are making it to our dinner tables and medicine cabinets.
According to food safety experts, the spike in recall notices for everything from broccoli to baby toys in recent years suggests companies are doing a better job of self-reporting, and we're actually safer than we were in the days when recalls were rare.
"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," Dr. William Hallman, professor and chair of Rutgers Department of Human Ecology, said in an interview with Food Drive. "So more companies are taking a cautionary approach."
Here are the recalls parents need to know about this month:
Henry Avocado Corporation's California-grown avocados
Henry Avocado Corporation's California-grown conventional and organic avocados sold in bulk in Arizona, California, Florida, New Hampshire, North Carolina and Wisconsin are being recalled due to potential Listeria monocytogenes contamination.
Listeria causes one of the most serious types of food poisoning, listeriosis.
No one has reported becoming ill, but it's important to know that "pregnant women are 10 times more likely to get listeriosis than the general population," according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists , so check your avocados, mamas-to-be.
Kids, the elderly and those with weak immune systems are also at greater risk.
Non-organic avocados will have 'Bravocado' stickers and the organic ones are labeled "organic" and include "California" on the sticker, like in the image above.
You can return avocados or call Henry Avocado at (760) 745-6632, Ext 132.
Dollar General baby cough syrup
The FDA announced a recall of 2-fluid ounce (59 mL) bottles of DG/health NATURALS baby Cough Syrup + Mucus sold at Dollar General stores.
The manufacturer is recalling lot KL180157 because the medicine is possibly contaminated with Bacillus cereus , which can lead to two forms of gastrointestinal illness and cause vomiting or diarrhea.
"Most often, illnesses are mild and self-limiting, although more serious and even lethal cases have occurred. Individuals at risk for more severe forms of illness include infants, young children, and others with weakened immune systems," the FDA notes.
So far, no babies have become ill after taking this product, but if you have it in your home you should return it to the store or call 1-844-724-7347.
Dollar General Baby Gripe Water
The above cough syrup recall follows another recall of a Dollar General product. Last month t he FDA issued a recall notice for "DC Baby Gripe Water herbal supplement with organic ginger and fennel extracts" after the company received one report of a one-week old baby who had difficulty swallowing the product, and there were three other complaints "attributed to the undissolved citrus flavonoid."
The FDA says "the product should not be considered hazardous but could result in difficulty when swallowing the product for sensitive individuals."
Basically, it's not harmful if swallowed but the undissolved flavonoid makes it a choking hazard.
The gripe water was sold at Dollar General stores in four ounce bottles with the UPC code 8 5495400246 3.
69,000+ pounds of Tyson chicken strips are being recalled: What parents need to know
Another chicken product is being recalled. On March 20, 2019, the United States Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service announced a recall classified as high risk. Some 69,000 pounds of Tyson frozen, ready-to-eat chicken strip may be contaminated with pieces of metal.
All the recalled products have a use-by date of November 30, 2019. The recall includes the following varieties:
- Tyson FULLY COOKED BUFFALO STYLE CHICKEN STRIPS CHICKEN BREAST STRIP FRITTERS WITH RIB MEAT AND BUFFALO STYLE SAUCE" case codes 3348CNQ0317 and 3348CNQ0318
- Tyson FULLY COOKED CRISPY CHICKEN STRIPS CHICKEN BREAST STRIP FRITTERS WITH RIB MEAT" case codes 3348CNQ0419, 3348CNQ0420, 3348CNQ0421, and 3348CNQ0422
- SPARE TIME FULLY COOKED, BUFFALO STYLE CHICKEN STRIPS CHICKEN BREAST STRIP FRITTERS WITH RIB MEAT AND BUFFALO STYLE SAUCE" with case code 3348CNQ03.
"The problem was discovered when FSIS received two consumer complaints of extraneous material in the chicken strip products," the agency notes. "There have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about an injury or illness should contact a healthcare provider."
If you have these chicken strips, throw them away or call Tyson at 1-866-886-8456.
[A version of this post was originally published February 21, 2019. It has been updated.]