Nfld. & Labrador

Whey to go: 3 food recalls linked to contaminated whey powder

A sweep of salmonella-related food recalls in the past week has been linked to contaminated whey powder, says Food Inspection Agency rep.

Ritz Bitz sandwiches, Uncle Ben's rice and Goldfish crackers all contain salmonella

The recalled Goldfish Flavour Blasted Xtreme Cheddar Crackers come in bags of 180 grams and 69 grams. The recall was issued Tuesday. (Canadian Food Inspection Agency)

A series of food recalls in the past week have been linked to contaminated whey powder, says Fred Jamieson, a food safety recall specialist with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

Cheese- and pizza-flavoured Ritz Bitz sandwiches, select Uncle Ben's rice products and Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Flavour Blasted Xtreme Cheddar Crackers were all recalled due to salmonella concerns.

The Ritz Bitz and Goldfish recalls applied to all of Canada, while the Uncle Ben's products were recalled only in eastern Canada.

Jamieson told CBC News on Tuesday that a whey powder contaminated with salmonella is to blame in all three of those cases.

"When you have a certain amount of product that goes out and only a little bit used in different products, you can have quite a few products identified," he said.

Mars Food Canada recalled select Uncle Ben's rice products in eastern Canada, including its Fast & Fancy Broccoli and Cheddar, and Country Chicken flavoured rice, after learning about a possible salmonella contamination. (Mars Food Canada)

Uncle Ben's, Ritz and Pepperidge Farm all have different parent companies, he said, and it's not unusual for the same batch of an ingredient like whey to be used by different manufacturers.

Salmonella often makes its way into products like whey through handling.

The contaminated whey that led to last week's recalls was found in the United States, said Jamieson, and authorities are still trying to trace it and figure out if it might be in other food products.

"There might have been products in the United States and they're going to deal with that. And what we're looking at is the ones that the products that were then shipped into Canada," he said.

"These could be the only recalls we have, [or] we could have some more."

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