Pepperidge Farm is voluntarily pulling millions of bags of Goldfish crackers off of shelves across the United States out of concern that they may be contaminated with salmonella. The food company said that nobody has actually been infected with salmonella from eating Goldfish crackers. But just to be safe, Pepperidge Farm is recalling 3.3 million units of the snack from stores around the country.
On Saturday, the Mondelez company announced that some Ritz sandwich crackers and Ritz Bitz were being pulled off of shelves — also because of concerns about whey powder that might be infected with salmonella. So far, company spokespeople say that nobody has gotten sick because of the crackers.
It wasn’t immediately clear whether both Goldfish and Ritz were using the same tainted whey powder.
Here’s what you need to know.
The Whey Powder Used to Flavor Some Varieties of Goldfish Crackers May Be Infected With Salmonella
Pepperidge Farm says that one of its suppliers notified it that the whey powder which is used in a seasoning mixture for Goldfish crackers has now been recalled, because it may contain salmonella.
That whey powder was used in a seasoning mix for four varieties of Goldfish crackers: Flavor Blasted Xtra Cheddar; Flavor Blasted Sour Cream & Onion; Goldfish Baked with Whole Grain Xtra Cheddar; and Goldfish Mix Xtra Cheddar + Pretzel. All four varieties have been pulled from the shelves while Pepperidge Farm investigates the situation.
If You’ve Already Bought The Tainted Goldfish, Don’t Eat Them
The four Goldfish varieties to avoid right now are Flavor Blasted Extra Cheddar, Flavor Blasted Sour Cream & Onion, Baked with Whole Grain Xtra Cheddar, and Cheddar + Pretzel. They’re already being pulled off the shelves of stores around the country. But if you happen to have those flavors at home, don’t eat them. Pepperidge Farm is offering a full refund for all of their recalled products; just bring them back to the store where you bought them for your money back.
In case you’re not sure whether your crackers are okay to eat, Pepperidge Farm has created this chart. It shows you exactly which products are affected by the recall. If your crackers are on the list, don’t eat them!
Ritz Crackers Were Recalled Last Week Because of Salmonella Fears
On Saturday Mondelez International, the maker of Ritz crackers, announced that they would recall some varieties of their Ritz Bitz and Ritz sandwich crackers. Kimberly Fontez, a company spokeswoman, said in a statement Monday that Mondelez was recalling products voluntarily. The recall is limited to the United States, including Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.
Here is a list of the Ritz crackers that were recalled.
Again, if your crackers are on this list, do not eat them.
It is not yet clear whether Ritz and Goldfish are made using the same brand of whey powder. But both products were recalled within days of each other.
Salmonella Is a Bacteria That Can Cause Serious Infections, Sometimes Leading To Death
Salmonella is the name given to a group of bacteria that can cause food poisoning. The US government lists salmonella as the most common source of food poisoning in the United States. For most healthy adults, an infection from salmonella is uncomfortable and painful, but not serious. Symptoms include diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramps, and vomiting, and will generally last from four to seven days. Symptoms usually go away on their own, especially if you drink plenty of water and get plenty of rest. In some cases, you’ll need antibiotics to cure the infection.
Salmonella is much more serious, though, when if affects elderly people, infants, and people with chronic diseases. In those cases, it can lead to serious illness and even to death.
Salmonella is normally found in raw or undercooked eggs, unpasteurized milk, and raw beef and poultry.
Salmonella is Carried in Animal Intestines, But It Can Contaminate Almost Any Kind of Food
The US government’s food safety blog notes that salmonella is most often found in meat, chicken, eggs, and unpasteurized milk. The bacteria salmonella is carried in animals’ intestines. But unfortunately, salmonella can also travel very, very easily and can contaminate almost any kind of food. That’s why dry foods, like Goldfish crackers (or like Honey Smacks) can be carriers for salmonella.
Basically, salmonella “gets into food through the poop of animals, such as cows, birds, and mice.” So if a field is irrigated using water that’s been contaminated with animal dung, then the crops grown in that field could be contaminated.
If an ingredient tainted with salmonella gets onto someone’s hands, or onto equipment, the bacteria can spread from there.
Again, salmonella does not generally lead to serious problems for healthy adults. But the elderly, infants, and people with chronic diseases are at risk of serious illness from the bacteria.