Kraft Issues Chocolate Recall Due to Salmonella Danger

Chocoholics beware! White baking chocolate sold by Kraft Foods Inc. is being recalled due to possible <"">Salmonella contamination. The sweet treat now joins a growing list of popular foods including peanut butter, children’s snacks, tomatoes and fresh spinach that have exposed consumers to a dangerous food borne bacteria.

The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) is warning consumers not to eat Baker’s Premium White Chocolate Baking Squares sold in 6 ounce packages. The recalled chocolate has a UPC Code 0043000252200 and four best-when-used-by dates: 31 MAR 2008 XCZ; 01 APR 2008 XCZ; 02 APR 2008 XCZ; 03 APR 2008 XCZ. No illnesses have yet been reported due to the recalled white chocolate. Consumers can contact Kraft at 1-800-310-3704 with any questions they may have or to request reimbursement for purchased product.

In a press release, Kraft said that the Salmonella contamination was discovered after the FDA conducted tests on some of the recalled Baker’s Premium White Chocolate Baking Squares. The products were distributed through stores nation wide. Kraft said that it has not yet determined the source of the Salmonella contamination, but that it is working to do so.

Salmonella is a potentially deadly type of food poisoning, symptoms of which included fever, abdominal pain, nausea, gas and bloody diarrhea. Symptoms appear within 36 hours of exposure, and usually last four to seven days. In very severe cases, Salmonella can lead to kidney failure and other complications. Salmonella can be particularly dangerous for children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems. Some victims of Salmonella will develop a disease called Reiter’s Syndrome, a difficult- to- treat condition that causes severe joint pain, irritation of the eyes, and painful urination. Reiter’s Syndrome can plague its victims for months or years, and can lead to chronic arthritis. Anyone who ate the recalled Baker’s Premium White Chocolate Baking Squares and experiences any Salmonella symptoms should contact a heath care professional immediately.

While no one is reporting any illnesses so far from this Salmonella recall, several outbreaks of the disease this year have been traced to a variety of foods. In February, more than 600 people were sickened by Salmonella-tainted Peter Pan and Good Value brand peanut butters. This summer, another outbreak that sickened nearly 100 people was traced to seasoning used on Veggie Booty snack mix. And in July, over 700 people in the Chicago area became ill from Salmonella after they ate at the Pars Cove Restaurant food booth at the Taste of Chicago Food Festival. Even pet foods and fresh vegetables like tomatoes and spinach have been contaminated with Salmonella bacteria.

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