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The Epoch TimesPotential Botulism Sparks Coffee Recall: What Consumers Need to Know

Concerns over a potentially deadly toxin prompt a voluntary recall of Snapchill’s low-acid canned coffee products, highlighting critical issues in food safety protocols and the risks associated with botulism.

Snapchill LLC has voluntarily recalled more than 100 of its coffee products due to concerns that its low-acid canning process might foster the growth of the potentially deadly botulinum toxin. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) alerted the company to regulatory non-compliance regarding the canning process, prompting the precautionary measure. Although no consumer cases of botulism have been reported, the recall demonstrates the importance of stringent food safety standards in preventing serious health risks.

Key Points

  • Recall Details: Snapchill LLC is recalling more than 100 coffee products due to potential botulinum toxin contamination from its low-acid canning process.
  • FDA Involvement: The FDA informed Snapchill that their canning process for low-acid foods had not been properly filed, which is a regulatory requirement.
  • Product Identification: Recalled products include various can sizes (7-12 ounces) labeled with “Produced and distributed by Snapchill LLC” or “Snapchill Coffee.”
  • Brands Affected: Products under multiple brands are affected, including Bent Tree Coffee, Black Nerd, Cape Cod Coffee, Coffee Hound, Five Grounds, Lanys Coffee, QUIVR, Rusty Dog, and Upshot.
  • Health Risk: Botulism, caused by the Clostridium botulinum bacteria, produces a toxin that can lead to severe illness, including breathing difficulties, paralysis, and death.
  • Symptoms of Botulism: Symptoms include trouble speaking or swallowing, blurred or double vision, trouble breathing, nausea, vomiting, dry mouth, facial weakness, drooping eyelids, and paralysis, typically appearing 12-36 hours post-consumption.
  • Importance of Early Medical Attention: Rapid diagnosis and treatment with antitoxin are crucial for botulism. Seeking immediate medical care can also help public health officials prevent further cases.
  • Company Response: Snapchill asserts that no known cases of botulism have been linked to their products since they began operations in 2019. They are working with the FDA to resolve the issue and restart production within regulatory standards.
  • Preventive Measures: The recall serves as a reminder of the critical need for compliance with food safety regulations, particularly for low-acid canned foods prone to botulinum toxin contamination.

Low-acid foods are the most common sources of botulism linked to home canning, as they have a pH higher than 4.6. These foods include all fresh vegetables, figs, meats, poultry, fish, seafood, and some tomatoes. Home-canned vegetables, which are low-acid foods, are the most common cause of botulism outbreaks in the United States. (CDC)

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