Salmonella contamination connected to whey ingredient

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, along with other partners, are investigating the possible Salmonella contamination of a whey ingredient that has caused the recall of several popular foods.

Associated Milk Producers Inc. of New Ulm, Minn., is recalling dry whey powder due to the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.

The Center for Food Safety Senior Policy Analyst Jaydee Hanson said the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, which was signed into law in 2011, is now kicking in.

“That act gave the Food and Drug Administration more recall authority. What that has resulted in is companies are taking more precautionary actions than they did before, rather than wait until people get really sick to recall something,” said Hanson.

FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said there’s not an uptick in food-related recalls, it just their tools for detecting them are better, and policies for how and when they alert the public lean in the direction of more and earlier communication.

“Our team is onsite investigating the facility that processes the dry whey used in the recalled products and we’re working to identify what other companies may have used this ingredient to determine what, if any, food may be contaminated with Salmonella,” said Gottlieb.

Hanson said people should pay attention to recalls and return the items to where they purchased it for a refund. Don’t risk consuming it.

“We should be having more of these smaller recalls because the companies are testing more frequently now,” said Hanson.

There may be additional recalls in the coming days, of other products, as the FDA’s investigation reveals other food producers that could expose consumers to the potential risk.

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