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Ritz Bits, Goldfish Crackers Recalled Over Salmonella Fears

Pepperidge Farm said Monday that it was voluntarily recalling more than 3 million units of its popular Goldfish crackers due to possible salmonella contamination. The announcement comes just two days after Mondelez International chose to pull several varieties of Ritz crackers for the same reason.

Pepperidge Farm said on its website that it was recalling four varieties of Goldfish: Flavor Blasted Xtra Cheddar, Flavor Blasted Sour Cream & Onion, Goldfish Baked with Whole Grain Xtra Cheddar and Goldfish Mix Xtra Cheddar + Pretzel. The Campbell Soup-owned company said it had been notified by one of its ingredient suppliers that the whey powder used in the seasoning of these four varieties could contain salmonella.

The affected snacks were distributed across the United States but no illnesses have been reported, Pepperidge Farm said, adding that the recall had been initiated “out of an abundance of caution.”

On Saturday, Mondelez International said it was recalling 16 varieties of Ritz crackers, including Ritz Bits Cheese, Ritz Cheese Cracker Sandwiches and Ritz Bacon Cracker Sandwiches with Cheese, because of a potential salmonella risk.

Like Pepperidge Farm, the food giant said a supplier had raised the alarm over possible contamination of whey powder contained in the Ritz products.

Flowers Foods also recently recalled several types of Swiss Rolls sold nationwide because of possibly contaminated whey powder. “The ingredient recall was initiated by a third-party whey powder manufacturer and supplier,” the company said

It remains unclear whether the trio of recalls is linked. The three companies have not revealed the name of their whey powder supplier.

Salmonella can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems. Symptoms of salmonella poisoning include fever, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting.

Though commonly linked to animal products like raw meat and eggs, salmonella — a microorganism found in animal intestines — can be found in dry, processed foods like crackers and cereal as well.

As Quartz notes, salmonella is “extremely adaptable” and actually thrives in dry and hot conditions. 

Dry heat “makes [salmonella] more persistent in a food or ingredient,” Benjamin Chapman, a food-safety specialist at North Carolina State University, told Live Science, discussing a salmonella outbreak linked to the herbal supplement kratom

In that state, salmonella could stay in a food “for a long, long time — years,” Chapman added.

Check out the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s website to find more information about recently recalled food and products.

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