Plainview Milk Products Recalled for Possible Salmonella Contamination

Plainview Milk Products Cooperative, Plainview, Minnesota, is voluntarily recalling instant nonfat dried milk, whey protein, fruit stabilizers, and gums (thickening agents) that it has manufactured over the past two years, because the products might be contaminated with <"">Salmonella, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced.

The company sells these products to other industry customers, including distributors and manufacturers, who may have incorporated them into their own products. None of Plainview’s recalled products were sold directly to the public. Plainview has stopped production of these products and has notified its customers of the recall. Currently, the Plainview recall is limited to industry customers who received suspect product(s).

The FDA said that this is an ongoing investigation, and it will update the public as new information emerges. At this time, the agency is not aware of products being recalled at the consumer level. “This recall is an appropriate precaution to protect public health,” said David W.K. Acheson, M.D., associate commissioner for foods at the FDA. “It reflects the concerted efforts of numerous partners at the local, state, and federal levels,” Dr. Acheson added.

During an investigation of the Plainview facility, FDA found that some of the equipment was contaminated with Salmonella. At this time, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has not linked any human illnesses to potentially contaminated products from the Plainview facility.

The FDA became aware of this problem through the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which discovered Salmonella in Dairyshake powder—100-gram pouches not for retail sale. The FDA began an investigation as to the source of the contamination and identified Plainview Milk Products as a supplier of a key ingredient in the Dairyshake powder. Inspection of the firm uncovered conditions resulting in the broader recall.

The FDA is conducting this investigation in collaboration with the USDA, CDC, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, and state and local health departments, the agency explained. FDA investigators are working to track the distribution of the Plainview ingredients to identify additional products that contain the recalled ingredients.

Salmonella is an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever; diarrhea, which may be bloody; nausea; vomiting; and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as arterial infections, endocarditis, and arthritis.

Some Salmonella bacteria are resistant to antibiotics, largely due to the use of antibiotics to promote the growth of feed animals. Salmonella is usually found in food contaminated with animal feces and is a group of bacteria that passes from the feces of people or animals to other people or animals, causing contamination when food is improperly stored or handled and when preparers do not wash their hands or sanitize implements involved in food storage.

Salmonella is the most frequently reported cause of food-related outbreaks of stomach illness worldwide and Salmonella poisoning can lead to Reiter’s Syndrome, a difficult-to-treat reactive arthritis characterized by severe joint pain, irritation of the eyes, and painful urination.

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