The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is working with an undisclosed food producer to recall an unknown amount of sugar because of metal bits of contamination. The first recall associated with this contaminated sugar began on July 7, when ConAgra Food's recalled some P.F. Chang's frozen entrées. This recall, which happened after a company employee found metal pieces in sugar used for the products, has been expanded even further. The total recall now involves nearly 1,000 tons of P.F. Chang's food. The amount of food contaminated by this specific supplier's sugar seems to be increasing, with Weiss Markets now recalling 30 bakery items.
Although food recalls are not an uncommon event in the nation, it is unusual for the supplier's identity to be kept from public knowledge. As of now, the FDA refuses to reveal the producer of the contaminated sugar, citing corporate confidentiality laws. “The sugar supplier contacted the FDA on July 15 about the problem,” a spokeswoman for the FDA told Food Safety News. That means they waited to contact the government agency for over week after being notified that their customer, ConAgra Foods, was having supply issues with their sugar.
Other information being kept from consumers includes how much sugar was tainted, what states the sugar was distributed in, which food companies use that sugar supplier, and how many companies who are their customers have reported issues with the sugar. The FDA has no time requirements for reporting these facts. It merely suggests that companies do so in a timely manner.
The curled metal fragments in the sugar range in size from 2 to 9 millimeters in diameters. While no illnesses or injuries have been reported yet due to the contaminated sugar, the recall is being considered a "Class I" recall by the FDA, meaning that it is a high-risk and serious health hazard.
The bottom line: While the FDA protects the name of the company, be sure to keep a watchful eye, and stay tuned for more recalls related to this sugar issue.