HVP recall expands throughout industry

by Keith Nunes
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KANSAS CITY – The recall of hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP) ingredients by Basic Food Flavors, Inc., Las Vegas, has spread throughout the food industry. Windsor Foods, Houston, Texas, and Ruiz Foods, Inc., Denison, Texas, are the latest companies to issue recalls related to the contaminated ingredient.

On March 9, Windsor Foods announced it is recalling approximately 1.7 million lbs of ready-to-eat beef taquito and chicken quesadilla products that may contain the ingredient. The products were primarily distributed to food service accounts.

On the same day, Ruiz Foods recalled over 100,000 lbs of ready-to-eat beef products that may feature HVP from Basic Food Flavors. The product subject to the recall is the company’s Tornados Ranchero Beef and Cheese item.

Procter & Gamble, Cincinnati, also announced it was recalling two varieties of its Pringles brand chips because of the HVP situation. The two products are taco and cheeseburger flavors.

To date, the Food and Drug Administration’s recall database indicates that over 100 products have been recalled in connection to the contaminated ingredients. No illnesses have been reported associated to the recalled products.

The F.D.A. also made public on March 9 its Form 483 that detailed its inspection observations of Basic Food Flavors from Feb. 12 to March 4. In addition to the to the company’s own Salmonella findings, the report detailed significant issues in the company’s manufacturing facility, according to the F.D.A. Specifically, inspectors found problems in the company’s manufacturing processes, including a lack of microbial contamination control. The report also outlined issues with the procedures for cleaning and sanitizing equipment and work areas where food was processed.

The report also said that “after receiving the first private laboratory analytical results dated Jan. 21 indicating the presence of Salmonella in your facility, you continued to distribute HVP paste and powder products until Feb. 15.”

The Form 483 added that Basic Food Flavors continued to manufacture HVP paste and powder products from Jan. 21 to Feb. 20 under the same processing conditions that did not minimize microbial contamination.

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