On August 12, 2022, Kraft Heinz announced the recall of 5,760 cases of Capri Sun Wild Cherry Flavored Juice Drink Blend, indicating a possible contamination with a Clean-In-Place (CIP) solution. The company explained that the cleaning solution, which is used to maintain food processing equipment, was “inadvertently introduced” in to the production process at one of its factories. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) published notice of the recall on August 16, 2022.
Kraft Heinz discovered the contamination issue after receiving several complaints about the taste of the drink. The specific batch is sold in 6.6-ounce pouches, identifiable by a “Best When Used By” date of June 25, 2023. Though Kraft Heinz did not disclose how many total pouches were recalled, CNN calculates the number at four cartons per case, 10 pouches per carton, for a total of about 230,000 pouches.
According to CBS News, the company has explained that consumers do not face serious health issues, but should not drink the tainted juice. The product can be returned to retail stores for a refund.
Kraft Heinz has recalled products before. In 2021, the company discovered contamination and issued a recall for powder beverages including Country Time Lemonade, Arizona Tea and Kool-Aid Tropical Punch. According to the Washington Post, Kraft Heinz found small particles of metal and glass in the product while conducting an internal review of one of its factories.
Food & drink recalls are not uncommon. Some recent examples:
- On August 11, 2022, King’s Hawaiian announced a voluntary recall of its Pretzel Slider Buns, Pretzel Hamburger Buns, and Pretzel Bites products (featured prominently in their summer promotion with Guy Fieri) when one of its suppliers, Lyons Magnus, announced the potential for microbial contamination.
- The Lyons Magnus recall initially included 53 products. On August 10, 2022, the FDA announced the expansion of the July 28, 2022 recall to 400 products that did not meet commercial sterility requirements, causing potential contamination from microbes including Cronobacter sakazakii and Clostridium botulinum. Recalled oat milk products include Oatly, Stumptown, Glucerna and Organic Valley. Cronobacter sakazakii can cause severe food poisoning up to two weeks after consumption. Botulism poisoning can cause respiratory paralysis and result in death.
- On August 1, 2022, H-E-B issued an all-store recall for half gallons of H-E-B Creamy Creations Light Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream. The product, sold at H-E-B stores in Texas and Mexico, contained wheat, a known allergen, but no wheat declaration on the product label.
- On July 20, 2022, Enjoy Life Natural Brands LLC announced the recall of four products, including Soft Baked Cookies sold at Trader Joes, due to the potential presence of hard plastic pieces in the products.
- On May 13, 2022, QueensMade Lemonade LLC issued a voluntary recall of all its juice-type products, after they were produced without safety inspection.
- In February 2022, Cronobacter sakazakii prompted a recall of baby formula produced by Abbott Nutrition in Sturgis, MI. Reports indicate that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) knew about contamination a year before the recall.
Tainted production lines have also prompted recalls of other consumer products. Notably, benzene, a known carcinogen that is not an ingredient of the products, has turned up in sunscreen, insect repellent, shampoo and deodorant, affecting numerous brands. In July 2021, Johnson & Johnson recalled its Aveeno and Neutrogena spray sunscreens, after finding benzene at up to 12 times the level advised by the FDA. In March 2022, Unilever recalled two types of Suave spray antiperspirant after finding benzene in samples.