A Malt-O-Meal employee alerted me this morning to a press release posted to the company’s web site yesterday announcing a voluntary recall of Puffed Wheat and Puffed Rice due to Salmonella contamination.
The recall was initiated after the company’s internal routine food safety testing detected the presence of Salmonella in a product produced on March 24, 2008. The company immediately commenced an investigation to determine the root cause of this one positive finding as well as the extent of any possible exposure. Initial results from this follow-up investigation indicate that additional product may have been exposed to this contaminant. Thus, out of an abundance of caution to protect consumers, the company has chosen to voluntarily remove all product made on the same production line from the market. Investigation into the source of the Salmonella has determined a root cause of this situation and corrective measures have been implemented to ensure no reoccurrence.
The recalled product was distributed nationally, marketed under the Malt-O-Meal brand and as some private label brands with “Best If Used By” dates ranging from “APR0808” to “MAR1809.” The location of the “Best If Used By” code varies by product but is generally stamped on the lower right side of the back panel of a bagged product.
The press release doesn’t say it but the contamination evidently occurred at an older area of the Northfield plant on Hwy 19. MOM’s last recall was apparently 9 years ago.
Update 7:30 am: I checked the shelves at the Northfield Econofoods. They have bags of both Puffed Wheat and Puffed Rice on their shelves but the “Best If Used By” codes on the bags are FEB0709 and JAN1409.
Update 9:30 am: the bags of cereal still available this morning at the Northfield Econofoods labelled Puffed Wheat FEB0709CB1 and Puffed Rice JAN1409CBM actually ARE on the recall list.
Update 10:15 am: The Northfield Cub Foods has a Malt-O-Meal section. Its puffed wheat and rice are private-labeled Cub Foods/SuperValu, apparently produced by MOM, as the bags look pretty much the same as those at Econo.
And although some SuperValu puffed wheat and rice products are on the ‘part 2’ recall list (image below), they’re marketed under the ‘Acme’ brand and evidently not affected by the recall, nor do the dates on the bags I checked match up to anything on the recall list.