The United States Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service issued a public health alert for foods that contain whey powder. This powder could be a source of salmonella. Whey powder is an ingredient regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration and is used in a number of foods, including certain flavors of Goldfish crackers made by Pepperidge Farms.
WAAY 31 talked to shoppers are doing about this latest potential health threat. Pepperidge Farms has recalled four of its flavors: Flavor Blasted Xtra Cheddar, Flavor Blasted Sour Cream & Onion, Goldfish Baked With Whole Grain Xtra Cheddar, and Goldfish Mix Xtra Cheddar + Pretzel.
Although the Alabama Department of Public Health told WAAY 31 there are no known salmonella cases from the crackers in our state – or anywhere across the country - they still want people to be cautious.
"We should have good food and good quality food. Now it's getting to the point where you have to check what's going on because it's something new every day," said shopper Binford Leslie. "For the first time, you say okay. The second time and then more and more you say nothing needs to be done. As a kid when I was coming up, you didn't hear of this. But now you're hearing of it every day."
Many shoppers told WAAY 31 they understand the risks in fresh produce but are now worried because the bacteria made its way into processed foods.
"I use gold fish and I kept it when I had young children for snacks around the house. To think that you might be giving a young child something that could make them sick is very alarming," said shopper Amy Keel.
The Alabama Department of Public Health explained a powder (whey) on the crackers is made with milk and other ingredients that could be dangerous. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, melons, raw turkey products, eggs, pasta salad, chicken salad, lettuce and more were all linked to salmonella so far this year. It's mainly spread when you eat under-cooked meat or eggs, swallow infected water or by not washing your hands well.
"I feel like the FDA is so overwhelmed because the demand for food is so great. They're stretched too thin and they need to hire on more inspectors to do a more thorough job to guarantee our safety," adds Keel.
Signs of salmonella are diarrhea, stomach cramps, and fever. The symptoms could be life threatening especially for children and the elderly.