Taco Seasoning Sold at Walmart Has Been Recalled Due to Salmonella Contamination

rez-art/iStock via Getty Images
rez-art/iStock via Getty Images

Consumers who shop at Walmart are being warned to check their pantries. As WFMJ reports, two spice mixes sold by the retail chain—Great Value Mild Taco Seasoning Mix and HEB Taco Seasoning Mix Reduced Sodium—have been recalled due to Salmonella concerns.

Salmonellosis is a food-borne illness caused by Salmonella bacteria. It's normally thought of as spreading through eggs, milk, or meat, but pantry items are also vulnerable to salmonella contamination.

In this case, the potential contamination has been traced back to a single lot of cumin produced by Mincing Spice Co. Both taco seasonings mentioned above contain the spice, and Williams Foods LLC has issued a voluntary recall of the products.

The U.S. is in the middle of a deadly Salmonella outbreak. According to the CDC, 768 people across 48 states have fallen ill with the disease, with 122 patients in the hospital and two dead. These outbreaks have been connected to backyard poultry and pig ear dog treats. So far, no reported cases of salmonellosis have been connected to the recalled taco seasoning.

To heed the precautionary recall, look for items with the below dates and numbers in your kitchen at home:

Great Value Mild Taco Seasoning Mix, 1 oz, Item Number: 564829444, UPC: 0 78742 24572 0, Best if used by 07/08/21, Best if used by 07/09/21

HEB Taco Seasoning Mix Reduced Sodium, 1.25 oz, Item Number: 050215, UPC: 0 41220 79609 0, Better by 07/10/21, Better by 07/11/21, Better by 07/15/21

[h/t WFMJ]

CVS Pulls Zantac and Similar Heartburn Medications From Stores Over Cancer Concerns

Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

On September 28, CVS Pharmacy announced that it’s pulling some heartburn medications from its shelves until further notice, following an alert from the Food and Drug Administration that they may contain a cancer-causing ingredient.

CNN reports that the medication in question is ranitidine, and CVS will stop selling its store brand version and the more commonly known brand-name version Zantac. Though tests are still ongoing, the FDA has found that ranitidine contains N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), which is a “probable human carcinogen,” according to a statement from CVS.

CVS’s voluntary suspension of sales is a “better safe than sorry” course of action—the FDA hasn’t issued a formal recall of Zantac/ranitidine or even suggested that users stop taking the medication. In its statement, CVS says that “the levels [of NDMA] that FDA is finding in ranitidine from preliminary tests barely exceed amounts found in common foods.” According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, NDMA is also found in tobacco, cured meats, beer, fish, cheese, and even the air we breathe [PDF].

Ranitidine is a type of H2 receptor blocker, which decreases heartburn and acid reflux symptoms by preventing stomach cells from releasing excess acid. It isn't the only H2 receptor blocker on the market, so this might be a good time to consult your healthcare provider or pharmacist about switching to a different one, like Pepcid (famotidine) or Tagamet (cimetidine).

The FDA said in a statement that it will continue investigating the potential risk of taking ranitidine and share its findings when available.

[h/t CNN]

General Mills Is Recalling More Than 600,000 Pounds of Gold Medal Flour Over E. Coli Risk

jirkaejc/iStock via Getty Images
jirkaejc/iStock via Getty Images

The FDA recently shared news of a 2019 product recall that could impact home bakers. As CNN reports, General Mills is voluntarily recalling 600,000 pounds of its Gold Medal Unbleached All-Purpose Flour due to a possible E. coli contamination.

The decision to pull the flour from shelves was made after a routine test of the 5-pound bags. According to a company statement, "the potential presence of E. coli O26" was found in the sample, and even though no illnesses have been connected to Gold Medal flour, General Mills is recalling it to be safe.

Escherichia coli O26 is a dangerous strain of the E. coli bacterium that's often spread through commercially processed foods. Symptoms include abdominal cramps and diarrhea. Most patients recover within a week, but in people with vulnerable immune systems like young children and seniors, the complications can be deadly.

To avoid the potentially contaminated batch, look for Gold Medal flour bags with a "better if used by" date of September 6, 2020 and the package UPC 016000 196100. All other products sold under the Gold Medal label are safe to consume.

Whether or not the flour in your pantry is affected, the recall is a good reminder that consuming raw flour can be just as harmful as eating raw eggs. So when you're baking cookies, resist having a taste until after they come out of the oven—or indulge in one of the many edible cookie dough products on the market instead.

[h/t CNN]

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