Quaker Oats has expanded its recall of granola bars, cereals, and snacks to nearly 50 products due to potential Salmonella contamination. The expanded recall comes just weeks after an initial recall was issued last month.
Additional Products Added in Expanded Recall
Popular cereals and snacks like Life and Cap’n Crunch cereals, as well as chewy and crunchy granola bars have now been recalled after the company’s supplier alerted them of potential Salmonella contamination.
The recall now includes the following additional products:
|Best By Dates
|Quaker Rice Cakes
|Quaker Chewy S’mores
|Cap’n Crunch’s OOPS! All Berries
|Cap’n Crunch Crispy Crunch with Crunch Berries
The initial recall on December 30th included around ten products. With the newly added items, there are now nearly 50 Quaker products being recalled across the U.S. and Canada.
39 Recall Products in Canada
In Canada, Quaker brand granola bars and cereal products are being recalled from stores nationwide. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency issued a food recall warning for 39 products that were manufactured by PepsiCo and distributed across Canada.
Some of the popular Quaker brand breakfast cereals being recalled in Canada include:
- Quaker Large Flake Oats
- Quaker Old Fashioned Oats
- Quaker Quick 1-Minute Oats
- Quaker Instant Oatmeal Packets
And Quaker Chewy and Crunchy Granola Bars:
- Quaker Chewy Chocolate Chip
- Quaker Chewy S’mores
- Quaker Chewy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip
Consumers are advised to check their pantries for the recalled products and throw out any items matching the product codes listed in the recall.
Salmonella Illness Reports Under Investigation
The recall was initiated after a routine sampling by the company’s supplier detected Salmonella in some of the products. So far no confirmed illnesses have been reported in relation to these products.
However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has informed Quaker Oats that they are investigating a cluster of Salmonella illness reports that may be related to the consumption of Quaker products.
The CDC has not yet released details on the number of illness reports under investigation or confirmed any definitive link. But the ongoing investigation may uncover additional information in the coming days and weeks.
Consumers Advised to Check Pantries
With popular pantry items like oatmeal and kid-favorite snacks now on the recall list, officials are advising consumers to carefully check their kitchen shelves.
The recalled products have best by dates ranging from April 2023 all the way out until April 2024. So consumers are urged to check any Quaker products in their home even if recently purchased.
The product lot codes and best by dates can be found on the bottom of cereal boxes or on the side or bottom of granola bar boxes. A full list with UPC codes and images of recalled products can be found on the company’s website.
Salmonella Infection Can Lead to Serious Illness
Salmonella is a bacteria that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, elderly adults, and those with weakened immune systems.
Healthy individuals infected with Salmonella can experience fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain that generally lasts 4 to 7 days. In rare cases, Salmonella infection can lead to more serious illnesses.
So far no illnesses have been confirmed in relation to these recalled Quaker products. But officials say consumers should discard any of the recalled items.
Quaker Oats Facing Backlash
The iconic Quaker brand, owned by PepsiCo, is facing criticism from consumers over the handling of the recall. Many are questioning why it took weeks for the company to expand the list of recalled products.
Brand reputation experts say the company needs full transparency. Consumers will regain trust in the brand faster if Quaker Oats reveals details on their testing standards and protocols to detect contamination earlier.
There are also calls for the company to explain why initial sampling did not detect Salmonella in a wider range of products prior to some items being shipped to store shelves.
Retailers Removing Recalled Products from Shelves
Major retailers across the U.S. and Canada are now in the process of removing all recalled Quaker Oats products from stores. This includes big box stores like Walmart, Target, and Costco.
Some shoppers are reporting empty shelves in the cereal aisles at their local grocery stores as recalled items are pulled. Retailers say supply may be impacted for 1-2 weeks until updated inventory shipments arrive.
Online giants like Amazon have also been removing recalled Quaker products from their digital shelves. So consumers should not purchase Quaker oatmeal, granola bars, or cereal from third party resellers online.
Quaker Oats Production Halted
As part of the investigation and recall, PepsiCo has halted all production at the Quaker manufacturing facility linked to the potential Salmonella contamination.
The Quaker factory in Marion County, Kansas is not operating at this time. PepsiCo owns three Quaker Oats plants across the country, but so far only the Kansas plant has been implicated.
Operations will remain suspended until testing of the facility and all machinery confirms no threat of Salmonella persisting in the production environment. This process could take several weeks based on prior recalls and investigations at other food factories.
Next Steps in Investigation
The next steps according to food safety officials will be expanded testing to pinpoint the source of the Salmonella detected in the samples. Determining exactly where in the production process and supply chain the contamination occurred will be key.
PepsiCo has not revealed which ingredient supplier provided the contaminated component as the investigation is still ongoing. But once the source of the Salmonella is verified, steps can be taken to remedy issues and update food handling protocols.
Officials say production will not resume until a root cause is established and prevention measures implemented. But it may take weeks or months to complete the investigation, identification, and correction process fully.
In the meantime, consumers are cautioned to discard any recalled Quaker products matching UPC codes on the recall lists. Refund availability from retailers may vary by location.
Financial Impacts Expected
PepsiCo is bracing for major financial impacts from the recall expansion and production shutdown. The company’s stock price has already dropped 4% this week amid the news.
And experts warn PepsiCo should prepare for further stock drops and significant revenue losses while the Quaker Oats contamination issue persists.
The iconic PepsiCo brand makes up about $1.3 billion annually in sales revenue for the company. Financial losses are inevitable with the temporary halt on manufacturing and national recall limiting product availability spanning dozens of SKUs.
Plus brand reputation damage could impact sales long term if consumers lose trust. PepsiCo is ramping up damage control PR but only time will tell how quickly Quaker Oats can bounce back.
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