US

Popular Brand Recalls Granola After Customers Find Rocks and Glass in Cashews

By Eva Fu

Findings of plastics, pebbles, or glass in granola have prompted a popular breakfast and snack brand to issue a voluntary recall.

The natural granola maker Purely Elizabeth is recalling several granola offerings after customers complained about the “foreign matter” in the products.

“We want to inform you that we have initiated a voluntary recall on several of our Grain-Free Granola and Bar offerings due to possible foreign matter contamination,” the company said in a statement. In a news release on May 16, the company noted that they are working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on the issue. The recall has not been posted on the FDA website as of date.

The company said that the recall is restricted to products that contain cashews and that the snack bars listed in the recall statement were not impacted.

“The granola bars listed in the recall never made it to the retailer and were not sold on our website, so any consumer that purchased our bars will have bars that have not been impacted by the recall,” said Hilary Martin, the company’s spokesperson.

“We are implementing this recall because we learned that cashews provided by our supplier during a brief time this spring may contain foreign objects. We have taken corrective action and replaced this cashew supplier with a new one,” reads the statement.

The products potentially impacted by the recall include the Coconut Cashew Grain-Free Granola, Banana Nut Butter Grain-Free Granola, Pumpkin Spice and Ashwagandha Grain-Free Superfood Granola, and Grain-Free Bars. They are sold at major retail outlets nationwide, including Whole Foods, Costco, and Publix, as well as online at Amazon, Thrive Market, and the Purely Elizabeth website.

granola recall purely elizabeth
Coconut cashew grain-free granola affected by the Purely Elizabeth recall, as listed by the expiration date. (Purely Elizabeth)
Purely Elizabeth granola
The Banana Nut Butter Grain-Free Granola, Pumpkin Spice and Ashwagandha Grain-Free Superfood Granola affected by the recall. (Purely Elizabeth)

The products impacted were listed along with their barcodes and expiration dates, which range from October to December of this year. The company asked customers not to consume the at-risk products, as they will replace them with a new package at no additional cost. It also encouraged customers to send photos of the impacted products at hand to help with tracking.

There have been no reports of injuries or illness in connection with the hazards, according to the company.

Purely Elizabeth was founded in Colorado in 2009. Elizabeth Stein, a holistic nutrition consultant, stated that she started the company aiming to “provide healthier, better-tasting alternatives” using superfoods and ancient grains.

“We believe as a business, we must create value for society by carefully considering local communities, stakeholders, and our natural environment,” she wrote on the company’s website.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, there were 125 recalls in 2018, with the top reasons being undeclared allergens, extraneous material, and contamination by pathogenic bacteria such as salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes.

The most recent food recall cases include frozen dessert sandwiches from Coolhaus for undeclared allergens in milk, tahini from Karawan due to salmonella contamination, and beef products from Vienna Beef for foreign matter contamination.

Beef Frank Links Recalled Over Extraneous Materials

The Vienna Beef case is one of the latest cases of product recall due to possible extraneous materials. According to a press release issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) on May 18, the Chicago-based hot dog producer was ordered to recall around 2,030 pounds of skinless beef sausages that might contain fragments of metal.

The FDA defines extraneous materials as “[a]ny foreign matter in a product associated with objectionable conditions or practices in production, storage, or distribution,” which includes insects, rodents, and birds; decomposed material; and miscellaneous matter such as sand, soil, glass, rust, or other foreign substances.

Although no adverse reactions have been reported due to consuming the sausage, the FSIS agency has urged individuals and institutions that purchased the products to discard or return the products, and encouraged consumers concerned about health risks to consult a healthcare provider.

The frank links products were distributed in food service locations in Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin. The items were subject to class I recall, and the consumption of the products can lead to “serious, adverse health consequences or death,” according to the notice.