Besides maybe potato chips, it's hard to think of a snack food more widely loved than popcorn. Whether you're digging into a bucket at the movies, putting out a freshly popped bowl for a party, or picking through some as an afternoon snack, it provides that perfect crunch that seems to be appealing no matter how hungry you really are. Even if you're not making your own fresh batches at home, it's just as easy to grab a preseasoned bag from the store in a pinch. But now, the Food&Drug Administration (FDA) is warning that one brand of popcorn sold in nine states is being recalled over serious health concerns. Read on to see which products are affected and what you should do.
All flavors of a popcorn brand sold in nine states are being recalled.
On Jan. 3, the FDA announced that Texas-based Avery's Savory Popcorn had issued a recall for all flavors of its Gourmet Popcorn products. The affected items were sold in plastic bags in various sizes.
The agency reports that the recalled products were distributed for sale online between Nov. 22, 2022 and Dec. 20, 2022. They were shipped to Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, and Texas. Each bag is affixed with an "Avery's Savory Popcorn" label on its front.
The items could pose a health hazard to some customers.
According to the FDA's notice, the company issued the recall after discovering the flavors might contain ingredients that are potential allergens not listed on the label, including milk, soy, peanuts, sulfites, and tree nuts such as almonds, walnuts, pecans, and cashews. An investigation found that a "temporary breakdown in the company's production and packaging processes" led to the error.
The agency warns that people who have an allergy or a severe sensitivity to any of the unlisted ingredients "run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume these products." Fortunately, the company says that no illnesses related to the recall have been reported to date.
In 2004, Congress passed the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) which established eight major food allergens that "accounted for 90 percent of food allergies and serious allergic reactions in the U.S.," according to the U.S. Food&Drug Administration (FDA). The law requires all packaging to declare the presence of such allergens in products, including shellfish, milk, eggs, fish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soybeans. In addition, as of Jan. 1, sesame was added as a new major food allergen after the Food Allergy Safety, Treatment, Education, and Research Act (FASTER) went into effect.
Here's what you should do if you purchased the recalled popcorn.
The agency advises anyone who purchased the recalled Avery's Savory Popcorn between Nov. 20 and Dec. 20 to throw the product away immediately. Customers should then reach out to the company via email to request a full refund. Anyone with questions can also contact the company at a phone number listed in the agency's recall notice.
This isn't the only recent major recall for a food item.
The popcorn recall isn't the only recent case when a food product was pulled from shelves over safety concerns. On Nov. 16, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced that large-scale food purveyor Tyson Fresh Meats had issued a recall for 93,697 pounds of raw ground beef products. The agency warned that the company had received customer complaints about finding "mirror-like" extraneous materials in the meat, which had been shipped to H-E-B, Joe V's, Mi Tienda, and Central Market stores across Texas.
On Dec. 3, the FDA announced that James Farms had issued a recall on 1,260 cases of frozen raspberries sold across nine states. In this case, the company said it pulled the product after it discovered the frozen raspberries could be contaminated with hepatitis A. The agency advised anyone who purchased the affected item to throw it away or return it to its place of purchase for a full refund.
And on Dec. 15, FSIS announced that Idaho-based Mountain View Packaging, LLC had issued a recall for 6,103 pounds of frozen, ready-to-eat Crispy Chicken with Almonds entrée products. The products were shipped to retail locations nationwide, including more than 1,300 Walmart stores across 29 states. The company says it issued the recall after it received customer complaints that the meals contained shrimp instead of chicken, posing a potential health risk to those with a shellfish allergy.