Supermarkets stumble in notifying us of food recalls 

Los Angeles Times

February 18, 2020

I’m Business columnist David Lazarus, with a look today at food recalls — and whether consumers are receiving sufficient notice when contaminated goods make it onto supermarket shelves.

The U.S. Public Interest Research Group issued a report last week saying most large U.S. grocery stores come up short in notifying customers of products possibly tainted with salmonella, E. coli and other unwanted ingredients.

“Supermarkets should be our best recall notification system, but instead, we found that shoppers must go on a nearly impossible scavenger hunt to learn if they’ve purchased contaminated food,” said Adam Garber, a spokesman for U.S. PIRG’s Education Fund.

“Stores already use modern technology to track customers, place products and target us with ads,” he noted. “There’s no reason why they can’t also keep us healthy.”

The group checked out the country’s 26 largest supermarket chains. It gave a failing grade to 84% of them, including Albertsons, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods and Walmart.

The biggest problem: Most stores failed to adequately notify customers about possibly hazardous products.

This is a big deal. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 6 Americans contract a foodborne illness every year, with 128,000 people hospitalized and 3,000 killed.

Only four of the chains reviewed by U.S. PIRG received a passing grade: Target, Kroger, Smith’s Food and Drug and Harris Teeter (and those latter two are owned by Kroger, which also owns Ralphs here in the Southland).

U.S. PIRG makes a handful of common-sense recommendations.

First, supermarkets should post recall information on their websites (duh).

Second, signs should be posted in stores — especially where affected products are sold — informing shoppers about food recalls. Such signs should be up at least two weeks for perishable goods and at least a month for frozen products.

Finally, supermarkets should use their loyalty programs to issue notices to customers within 48 hours of a recall being announced.

Stores might not be responsible for food recalls. But that doesn’t mean they should be passive bystanders.


Medtronic recalled more than 322,000 insulin pumps because a missing or broken component can lead to over- or under-delivery of insulin. The problem was linked to one death, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Gourmet International recalled nearly 2,000 Butlers Irish Whiskey Dark Chocolate 3.5-ounce tablet bars because of high levels of milk not listed in the ingredients, posing a danger to people with allergies. The chocolate bars were sold in California and more than a dozen other states.






Whole Foods Market Debuts The World’s First USDA Certified Organic Plant Based Take & Bake Pizza – FREE Sample Slice 

The Pizza Plant, headquartered in Pasadena, CA, recognized as one of the best pizzas in the United States was propelled to notoriety for its monstrous, 13-Topping, CBD-infused, plant based Nacho Pizza and its decked out, bright green tour bus-sized pizza kitchen serving unique pies prepared on a scratch made artisan crust loaded with a symphony of creative-yet-complimentary sauces, toppings, and garnishes will debut the worlds first USDA Certified Organic Take and Bake Plant Based Pizzas at Whole Foods Market on Jan 15, 2020 in three states, California, Arizona and Nevada.

Four USDA Certified Organic, whole-food, nutrient-dense, made-with-love, crave-able, plant-based pizzas inspired by The Pizza Plant’s Founder’s upbringing will be available fresh in the prepared foods department and pizza stations of Whole Foods Market.

Sink Not Included

House-made ancho chilled spiced tofu peperone slices & Italian spiced wheat crumble, bell peppers, onions, Kalamata olives, made from scratch mozzarella style cashew nut cheese & marinara atop an artisan crust.

Funghi Town

Roasted baby bella mushrooms, broccoli, house-made pumpkin seed pesto, shaved red onion & made from scratch mozzarella style cashew nut cheese atop an artisan crust.

Sinful Yet Guilt Free

House-made Italian spiced wheat crumble, cured shiitake bits, shaved fennel, made from scratch mozzarella style cashew nut cheese & marinara atop an artisan crust.

Not Your Grandma’s

Made from scratch mozzarella style cashew nut cheese & marinara atop an artisan crust.

Each 10” pie will be packaged in an Eco-friendly, certified compostable oven-safe to 425° F/Microwavable TreeSaver™ Pizza Pan made in the USA.

The Pizza Plant


Miyoko Vegan Cheeses

Wisconsin’s Department of Agriculture Orders Removal of Miyoko’s Vegan Butter From Store Shelves 

AFC NOTES: I would advise Wisconsin to get into the dairy-free business, before they change the laws to such a degree that when they do go belly up, and it’s just a matter of time, no one on the plant-based block will let them in. SUFFERING is not on our menu as it is in Wisconsin. We don’t bring Holocaust producers into the fold after they try to destroy those people saving the holocaust victims from further torture. Whoa. Raising a cow and enslaving the cow to force the cow to produce milk for you? And you want to protect your right to do that? By forcing legislators to pass legislation to allow you to continue the holocaust? How many judges do you bribe to enforce your holocaust laws?

Nah, we don’t even want you on the planet, much less in our suffer-free zone. Whole Foods should have kept the product on the shelves. You support illegal immigrants breaching the border by defying the law? And you make huge profits from plant-based foods, and you can’t take a stand in favor of free speech rights when it comes to the animals and the companies that sell animal-free foods? Skogen’s too? Who are the cowards now?


Founder Miyoko Schinner fights back with new “vegetable spread” label to appease dairy state concern.


Wisconsin’s Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP) recently instructed supermarkets to remove non-dairy products that use the term “butter” on labels based on claims that these products don’t comply with the state’s definition of butter—which requires that it be made from dairy-based milk or cream. The action comes in response to dairy industry complaints about vegan brand Miyoko’s Kitchen Cultured Vegan Butter which is made from cashews. Wisconsin, which calls itself “America’s Dairyland,” is one of the biggest dairy-producing states in the nation and is also the biggest maker of dairy-based butter.

During the two months the removal order was in effect, Miyoko’s Kitchen products were pulled from at least one Whole Foods Market location and from retail chain Skogen’s Festival Foods—while no other products were singled out, according to Kayla Paul, a Skogen’s quality and assurance and regulatory affairs specialist.

In response, Miyoko’s Kitchen founder Miyoko Schinner offered to create stickers that read “vegetable spread” that the stores can affix to her products if the state approved them. The DATCP took more than a month to respond but finally approved the label on June 12.

In recent years, the dairy industry has challenged the ability for plant-based companies to use terms such as “milk,” “cheese,” “butter,” and “yogurt,” citing that such labeling leads to consumer confusion, and that companies should use labels with terms such as “imitation,” “substitute,” and “alternative” to describe their products.

Last year, the United States Food and Drug Administration sought input from the public on its understanding of such terms when included in the names of plant-based products. According to a review commissioned by trade group Plant Based Foods Association (PBFA), 87 percent of consumers said they are not confused by the differences between plant-based dairy alternatives and products made from cow’s milk.

“The FDA should abide by free market principles and not restrict plant-based foods to unfairly benefit the dairy industry,” PBFA Executive Director Michele Simon said. The PBFA and other opponents of such labeling restrictions also argue that the language is a violation of corporate free speech rights protected by the First Amendment.

Source: Wisconsin’s Department of Agriculture Orders Removal of Miyoko’s Vegan Butter From Store Shelves | VegNews