The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has been investigating many products containing hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP) for Salmonella contamination. The investigation of the affected HVP products, which was produced by Basic Food Flavors Inc in Las Vegas, Nevada, started in February 2010. As of March 16, 2010, there have been 159 entries in the FDA hydrolyzed vegetable protein containing products recall list and is considered a major recall. You can view this list by clicking here. At this time, no illness associated with this contamination has been reported to the FDA.
HVP is a flavor enhancer used by many companies in a wide variety of processed foods including soups, dips, sauces, gravies, snack foods, frozen foods, ready-to-eat meals, and dressings. Hydrolyzed protein is a protein that has been broken down into its component amino acids by either boiling in acid or base or using an enzyme to break the protein down. So how does hydrolyzed proteins enhance flavor? As stated by the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service,”hydrolyzed proteins, used by the food industry to enhance flavor, are simply proteins that have been chemically broken apart into amino acids. The chemical breakdown of proteins may result in the formation of free glutamate that joins with free sodium to form MSG. In this case, the presence of MSG does not need to be disclosed on labeling. Labeling is required when MSG is added as a direct ingredient. “
Below are links to some of Charlottesville area grocery stores’ product recall lists. This link will also provide contact information if you have any further questions if you have purchased a recalled product from their store.
- Food Lion
- Harris Teeter
- Whole Foods
Please check the recall list periodically as new recalled items may be added.