Massive Nationwide Food Recall Could Affect 'Tens of Thousands of People'
A problem at a single food-processing plant in California has led to a massive recall impacting millions of pounds of pre-made salads and meals, more than two dozen chains and 13 food companies, USA Today reported Tuesday.
The problem started October 15 when McCain Foods USA recalled the Fire Roasted Black Bean Corn processed at its plant in Colton, California near Los Angeles for potential contamination with Listeria monocytogenes or Salmonella, Food Safety News reported. McCain Foods has since recalled all products from its Colton plant, which makes fire roasted, caramelized and sauteed frozen fruit and vegetables.
The recall has reverberated from Walmart to Whole Foods and offers a case study in the complexity of the U.S. food supply chain.
"These recalls demonstrate just how complex and interconnected our food system is today. When you buy something from the store, it's possible the company that produced it was three companies ago," Consumers Union Senior Food Policy Analyst Will Wallace told USA Today. "This is a big deal. It could impact tens of thousands of people, if not more."
"No illnesses to date have been identified in connection with any of these foods, but consumers should not eat any of the products that have been recalled, as they could be contaminated with Salmonella and/or Listeria monocytogenes." the joint statement said, according to Food Safety News.
This isn't the first time McCain Foods has had to issue a recall. In April 2017, it took its Roundy's, Harris Teeter and Southern Style hash browns off the shelf because golf balls had somehow gotten mashed up with the potatoes, causing a choking hazard.
The companies impacted this time around are listed below, so make sure none of your favorites are caught up in the recall. You can click on the link for more detailed information about each recall. Stay safe!
1. Prime Deli Corporation: On Oct. 16, This Lewisville, Texas company recalled two shipments of "7-ELEVEN™ BISTRO SOUTHWEST STYLE SALAD WITH BACON" with use-by dates of Oct. 16 sent to retail locations in Texas.
2. GH Foods CA: On Oct. 17, this Sacramento company recalled around 987 pounds of ready-to-eat chicken salads shipped to stores in California including "365 BY WHOLE FOODS MARKET BBQ STYLE CHOPPED SALAD WITH CHICKEN" and "365 BY WHOLE FOODS MARKET CHICKEN FAJITA SALAD," both with sell-by dates ranging from Oct. 17 to Oct. 20.
3. Mary's Harvest Fresh Foods: On Oct. 17, this Portland company recalled around 916 pounds of salads and wraps containing corn, including "TRADER JOSE'S MEXICALI INSPIRED SALAD WITH CHILI SEASONED CHICKEN" with sell-by dates from the 15th to the 19th of October. The products were sent to stores in Washington, Idaho and Oregon.
4. Taylor Farms Northwest: On Oct. 17, The Kent, Washington company recalled around 276 pounds of pork carnitas bowls with sell by dates ranging from Oct. 15 to 19 sent to stores in Washington and Oregon.
5. GHSE, LLC: The last Oct. 17 recall was from this Florida company and impacted around 738 pounds of its "Marketside™ FIESTA SALAD WITH STEAK" with sell-by dates of October 17 to October 20. The products were shipped to stores in Georgia, Florida and South Carolina.
6. Hy-Vee: On Oct. 18, Des Moines, Iowa-based grocery store chain Hy-Vee recalled six of its meat and potato products in 245 stores across eight states. All of the recalled products had a best-by date of Oct. 22 or earlier.
7. GHSW, LLC: The Houston-based company recalled around 1,786 pounds of ready-made chicken salads on Oct. 19, including several from Whole Foods and Trader Joe's: "365 BY WHOLE FOODS MARKET BBQ STYLE CHOPPED SALAD WITH CHICKEN" , "365 BY WHOLE FOODS MARKET CHICKEN FAJITA SALAD", "TRADER JOE'S BBQ SEASONED WHITE CHICKEN SALAD" , "TRADER JOE'S FIELD FRESH CHOPPED SALAD WITH GRILLED WHITE CHICKEN", and "TRADER JOSÉ'S MEXICALI INSPIRED SALAD WITH CHILI SEASONED CHICKEN". Expiration dates ranged from Oct. 18 to 21, and the products were sent to stores in Colorado, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas.
8. Ruiz Food Products: On Oct. 19, the Denison, Texas company recalled around 2,490,593 pounds of Go-Go Taquitos that had been sent to stores around the country.
9. Caito Foods: Operating out of Indianapolis, Caito Foods recalled around 1,532 pounds of salad and bowl products containing chicken that had been sent to stores in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota and Missouri and had best-by dates ranging from Oct. 12 to 21.
10. Envolve Foods: On Oct. 19, the Corona, California company recalled around 292,764 pounds of ready-made chicken and beef products in the Simple Truth and Cadence Gourmet lines that had sell by dates between Oct. 20 and March 2020. They were sent to stores around the country.
11. Buddy's Kitchen: On Oct. 19, Minnesota company Buddy's Kitchen recalled around 212,746 pounds of ready-to-eat pork and chicken meals that were sent to institutions in Arizona, California, Georgia, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri and New Jersey.
12. SK Food Group: The last Oct. 19 recall came from an Ohio and Nevada company that recalled around 174,207 pounds of "jenny CRAIG CHICKEN WRAP WITH BBQ SAUCE" that had been sent to customers in California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Texas through catalogue sales.
13. Bakkavor Foods: The most recent recall came from a company with locations in California, North Carolina and Pennsylvania that was recalling around 795,261 pounds of ready-made meat and poultry products including three HARRIS TEETER FRESH FOODS MARKET DELI-BAKERY meals and one "TRADER JOE'S CARNITAS WITH SALSA VERDE Burrito." The products had sell-by dates ranging from October 2017 to April 2019 and were sent around the country.
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When President Donald Trump visited California on September 14 and dismissed the state Secretary of Natural Resources Wade Crowfoot's plea to recognize the role of climate change in the midst of the Golden State's worst and most dangerous recorded fire season to date, he gaslighted the tens of millions of West Coast residents suffering through the ordeal.
Foxes Guarding the Henhouse<p>Before he assumed power, Trump attacked regulations as unnecessary barriers to freedom and economic prosperity. Since taking office, he has targeted anything enacted by the administration of his predecessor, Barack Obama, and taken steps to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris agreement, the international effort to combat climate change. He has also staffed heads of key agencies with climate deniers of various stripes, forced out career public servants and created a hostile work environment for those who don't profess loyalty to his deregulatory agenda.</p><p>Like Trump himself, some of his cabinet choices displayed an audacious penchant for <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/09/27/us/donald-trump-taxes.html?action=click&module=Spotlight&pgtype=Homepage" target="_blank">self-dealing</a> and abusing their positions of authority. 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Dubbed "<a href="https://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-pruitt-leaves-20180705-story.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">one of the most scandal-plagued Cabinet officials in U.S. history</a>," Pruitt resigned in disgrace after revelations about his multiple brazen abuses, including using the agency as his personal concierge service and piggy bank.</p><p>Pruitt's deputy, Andrew Wheeler, a <a href="https://www.cbsnews.com/news/andrew-wheeler-acting-epa-administrator-former-number-two-before-scott-pruitt-resignation/" target="_blank">former coal industry lobbyist</a> and longtime Republican Washington insider, took over and has continued Trump's deregulatory agenda apace.</p><p>At the Department of Interior (DOI), a sprawling agency that oversees 75 percent of the country's public federal lands and includes the U.S. Geological Survey, which is tasked with evaluating natural hazards that threaten life and the health of our ecosystems, Trump installed another flamboyant anti-environmentalist to head the agency. Like Pruitt, Trump's first Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke aggressively attacked environmental regulations, <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/05/07/epa-dismisses-half-of-its-scientific-advisers-on-key-board-citing-clean-break-with-obama-administration/" target="_blank">ditched more than 200 advisory panels</a>, and pushed to open up vast swaths of public land to oil and gas drilling. Described by one environmental group as "<a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/interior-secretary-zinke-resigns-amid-investigations/2018/12/15/481f9104-0077-11e9-ad40-cdfd0e0dd65a_story.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">the most anti-conservation Interior secretary in our nation's history</a>," Zinke was forced out after numerous highly publicized conflict-of-interest scandals.</p><p>The DOI is now run by Zinke's deputy secretary, David Bernhardt, another longtime Republican Washington insider and former oil industry lobbyist who has also been the subject of <a href="https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2020/05/this-is-still-happening-david-bernhardt-trump-lincoln.html" target="_blank">several government ethics complaints</a> for various violations favoring polluting industries.</p><p>More recently, longtime climate change denier David Legates, a climatologist at the University of Delaware previously <a href="https://insideclimatenews.org/news/19032015/u-delaware-refuses-disclose-funding-sources-its-climate-contrarian" target="_blank">funded by fossil fuel interests</a>, was hired for a <a href="https://www.npr.org/2020/09/12/912301325/longtime-climate-science-denier-hired-at-noaa" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">top job</a> advancing weather modeling and prediction at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Legates has called for <a href="https://www.democracynow.org/2020/9/18/noaa_david_legates_climate_crisis" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">increasing carbon emissions</a>.</p><p>The Trump administration has done much more than stack government agencies with fossil fuel industry proponents. It has removed or diluted discussion of climate change from as many government platforms as it can and decimated independent scientific advisory boards that provide unbiased, fact-based information the government needs to enact policies that protect the public. It has also <a href="https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/482352-trump-budget-slashes-funding-for-epa-environmental-programs" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">slashed environmental agency staffing and budgets</a>.</p>
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It wasn't so long ago that the issue of climate change was poised to play a huge – possibly even a decisive – role in the 2020 election, especially in the race for control of the U.S. Senate. Many people supporting Democratic candidates saw a possible Democratic majority as a hedge against a potential Trump re-election … a way to plug the firehose spray of more than 100 environmental regulation rollbacks and new anti-climate initiatives by the administration over its first term.
Potential Climate Voters<p>In a September 1 memo on climate and the election, Andrew Baumann, vice president of the consultants Global Strategy Group, wrote: "Few issues have seen as dramatic a shift in public opinion as climate change has over the last few years. Only marriage equality and the recent shift in views around racial justice outpace the rapid growth in the salience of climate change as an issue."</p><p>Calling it a "winning political issue" the memo says: "First, it is clearly a motivator for both younger and Latinx voters. Second, it has the power to move swing voters, particularly center-right white women."</p><p>Baumann points to a finding that when a group of such women were asked generic ballot questions, Democrats trailed by nine percentage points. But when the question was revised as a choice between:</p><p>"A Democrat who supports taking strong government action to combat climate change.<br>A Republican who opposes taking strong government action to combat climate change."</p><p>… the result was a 29 percentage point shift, putting Democrats ahead by 20 percentage points among that same group.</p><p>"I think it is playing a role," says Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, D-RI, a longtime outspoken climate activist who is on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and also on the Senate Democrats' Special Committee on the Climate Crisis. If Democrats win back the Senate, he stands to play an even more pivotal climate role as part of the majority. He is not up for re-election this year.</p><p><span></span>"I think from the Democratic side it's playing a role in generating enthusiasm – particularly making younger voters feel that they have a real stake in this election. On the Republican side, I think things have moved enough that candidates can no longer get away with simply scoffing about climate change."</p>
Climate a Top Concern for Youths, Latinx<p>So who's still thinking climate? Mostly young voters – 18 to 25 or 29 and Latinx voters.</p><p>Climate and the environment are the top concern among young voters, just above racism and healthcare according to <a href="https://circle.tufts.edu/latest-research/poll-young-people-believe-they-can-lead-change-unprecedented-election-cycle" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">CIRCLE</a>, the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement at Tufts University, which focuses on the political life of young people in the U.S. For Latinx youth, it drops a bit but remains in the top three.</p><p>The issues young people care about have an impact on how they volunteer their time, says Kristian Lundberg, an associate researcher at CIRCLE. He says that's played out most notably through the Sunrise Movement, which focuses on climate change and the environment along with other key activist groups such as Black Lives Matter and March for Our Lives.</p><p>He points to polling this summer that showed that 83% of 18-to-29-year-olds felt they had the power to change things. "Young people feel much more empowerment than in 2016 and 2018," Lundberg says. "It's intentional these movements are carving out space for young people. It's an important strategy."</p><p>In positions of power in these organizations, young people have developed peer-to-peer outreach on activism. And Lundberg says young people have made the leap that connects activism to voting as a lever for change. "In the past in very close races, young people breaking heavily have provided the margin of victory," he says.</p><p>CIRCLE is highlighting 10 U.S. Senate races as ones in which young voters can be decisive. Several of them have notable climate or environmental components – most prominently the Colorado and Montana races.</p><p>The Republican incumbents in each state – Cory Gardner in Colorado and Steve Daines in Montana – are running against a popular Democratic governor – John Hickenlooper in Colorado, now out of office — and Steve Bullock, still the governor of Montana. Both governors have had to balance their state's fossil fuel economic interests with supporting climate change solutions.</p>
Tying Climate Change to the Economy<p>In August, Data for Progress, a progressive research think tank, released polling on climate change – including in the battleground Senate elections in Arizona, Iowa, Maine, and North Carolina – showing voters back a Senate candidate supporting strong climate action.</p><blockquote>Climate change as 'mobilizing issue … key persuasion issue.'<br></blockquote><p>It also showed that linking climate change to the economy may be key. That means talking about clean energy and jobs together, says Danielle Deiseroth, climate data analyst for <a href="https://circle.tufts.edu/latest-research/poll-young-people-believe-they-can-lead-change-unprecedented-election-cycle" target="_blank">Data for Progress</a>. She says that in addition to jobs, climate change issues include climate justice and economic equality – both of heightened interest because of fallout from western wildfires.</p><p>"Climate change, we've observed over the last year or so, is a key mobilizing issue and a key persuasion issue," she says. "Climate issues can only grow support for Democratic candidates.</p><p>"I think it's pretty naive to say climate is the key issue for voters. For a lot of voters it really exemplifies so many things that are wrong with the Trump presidency," Deiseroth says.</p><p>So a factor among others. Helpful, but pivotal only in narrow circumstances.</p><p>At the League of Conservations Voters, a progressive environmentalist organization putting a lot of money and effort into the 2020 races, Senior Director of Political Affairs Craig Auster says: "I'll push back that climate change doesn't matter or isn't registering."</p><p>"It's still showing up in several Senate races. It's been playing a role in almost all of them."</p><p>Candidates are still talking about it, he says, pointing to Colorado, Montana, Iowa, and other states where ads are addressing climate and environmental issues. That shows the candidates believe their opponent is vulnerable on the issue or they're strong on it, he says.</p><p>Like others, Auster calls climate a motivator.</p><p>"Climate change matters," he says. "We have proof point after proof point about what's happening, whether it's a hurricane, a superstorm, derechos in Iowa, or wildfires out west.</p><p>"Pre-COVID it was top tier for Democratic voters along with healthcare. If COVID didn't happen I think climate would be a big deal."</p>
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