Thursday, March 4, 2010

Another good reason to avoid processed foods: FDA warns of Salmonella risk from common flavor enhancer

FDA warns of Salmonella risk from common flavor enhancer

Thousands of types of processed foods -- including many varieties of soups, chips, hot dogs and salad dressings -- may pose a health threat because they contain a flavor enhancer that could be contaminated with Salmonella, the Food and Drug Administration said Thursday.

Salmonella was detected in one lot of hydrolyzed vegetable protein made by Basic Food Flavors Inc. as well as inside the company's Nevada manufacturing facility, according to the FDA. Basic Food Flavors Inc. is one of only a handful of companies that makes hydrolyzed vegetable protein, but its customer list is extensive

The FDA has posted on its Web site a list of products that are being recalled by their manufacturers. The list contained 56 products as of midafternoon and is expected to balloon. It can be found at

Hydrolyzed vegetable protein is widely used by food processors to boost flavor in ways similar to monosodium glutamate. A company that bought the tainted protein from Basic Food Flavors notified the FDA after it found Salmonella in the lot, according to federal officials.

Federal officials say they have no evidence that anyone has fallen ill from tainted hydrolyzed vegetable protein. Most healthy people recover from Salmonella infection, but it can cause serious problems and even death in the young and elderly and those with compromised immune systems.

Basic Food Flavors Inc. did not immediately return a call for comment.
Thursday, March 4, 2010; 4:26 PM

Posted via web from Doug's posterous

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