KANSAS CITY — Hostess Brands L.L.C. late June 3 announced it has recalled 710,000 cases of snack cakes and donuts due to the presence of undeclared allergens. Hostess said the voluntary recall was a “direct result of the recent recall by our supplier, Grain Craft, of certain lots of its flour for undeclared peanut residue.”
Hostess products included in the recall include Chocodiles, Ding Dongs, Zingers and chocolate, crunch, devil’s food, glazed mini, maple and powder donuts. The recall includes single-serve, multipack boxes and bagged donuts. The products were sold to mass merchandisers, grocery stores, distributors, dollar stores, drug stores and convenience stores in the United States and Mexico.
Hostess said as of June 3 it had received notice of two allergic reactions related to product covered by the recall, which was issued “out of an abundance of caution.”
That Grain Craft has issued a product recall also was stated by the Food and Drug Administration. The Hostess episode follows by about a month, a series of recalls by CSM Bakery Solutions and its customers of products baked using flour milled from an unspecified supplier. No illnesses had been reported in connection with the CSM recalls.
The Hostess announcement specifically cited Grain Craft as the source of the flour, and the F.D.A. in its latest announcements said Grain Craft was associated with both incidents. The F.D.A. also said soft wheat flour production ceased at the mill (the location of which was not specified) on April 30.
“Grain Craft first notified F.D.A. on April 26 that sampling by a customer found peanut residue in cookies and subsequent analysis revealed the source of the peanut residue to be its soft red winter wheat flour,” the F.D.A. said. “Since that time, Grain Craft analyzed additional samples of the flour and found positive samples for peanut residue. F.D.A. also collected samples at Grain Craft and found evidence that some soft red winter wheat flour contained peanut protein. Grain Craft ceased manufacturing and distribution of its soft red winter wheat flour on April 30. Subsequent F.D.A. sampling did not show the presence of peanut protein. Following ongoing discussions with F.D.A., Grain Craft issued a recall to its customers. F.D.A. is working with companies that received flour from Grain Craft containing undeclared peanut residue to determine if their products pose a safety hazard and need to be recalled.”
Grain Craft said in a clarifying statement that soft wheat production has continued at the mill but that the company was no longer milling wheat originated in the state of Georgia.
"As of April 30, Grain Craft has resolved the peanut allergen issue in all of our soft wheat flour products at our south Georgia mill,” the company said. “Within days of self-reporting the issue to the F.D.A., we identified the source of the issue, isolated it and eliminated it. Peanut was found to be present as the result of unintentional cross-contact in our supply chain; it did not originate from any Grain Craft facility. The F.D.A. confirmed our identification of the source through further testing, inspected our South Georgia mill, and did not indicate any concerns with the mill’s operations. All Grain Craft mills are fully operational and our customers are receiving the safe, quality flour that they have come to expect from Grain Craft."
Among those companies that received flour from Grain Craft, presumably, was Hostess Brands, which tested its flour when it was notified of two allergic reactions to affected products.
“(Hostess) notified F.D.A. that the flour contained peanut residue,” the F.D.A. said. “Hostess has since tested other shipments of flour from the same supplier as well as finished products and has found other instances of products or flours with low level peanut residues.
“Grain Craft sells only to other companies and not directly to consumers. In general, F.D.A. is prohibited by law from releasing publicly certain information about supply chains, such as the names of customers, if it constitutes confidential commercial information.”