Olives join product recall

Olives have joined a growing list of packaged products recalled in recent months.

Foster’s Food Fair IGA announced Monday it had proactively pulled some of its Roland brand olives from its shelves after the United States Food and Drug Administration issued a health-risk warning due to possible contamination with a potentially deadly bacterium.

Kevin Loughery, the marketing supervisor for Foster’s, said there were no reports of illnesses as a result of consumption of the olives, either here or abroad.

‘The chances of [an illness] happening in the Cayman Islands because of this product are remote or slim,’ Mr. Loughery said. ‘But we want to do everything we can to make it even slimmer.’

The FDA said the olives might be contaminated with the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, which can cause potentially deadly botulism.

All of the olives were packed by Charlie Brown di Rutigliano & Figli S.r.l, of Bari, Italy,

The Roland olives affected have codes that start with the letter “G” and are followed by 3 or 4 digits. All sizes of cans, glass jars and pouches of Cerignola, Nocerella and Castelvetrano type olives are affected, Foster’s said in a press release issued Monday morning.

The recall includes other brands of olives not carried by Foster’s, including Borrelli, Bonta di Puglia, Cento, Corrado’s, Dal Raccolto, Flora and Vantia.

Besides olives, other products recalled in the past few months include Peter Pan peanut butter, many kinds of dog and cat food, Listerine Agent Cool Blue mouthwash for children, and Mucinex children’s cough medicine.

The Peter Pan recall in February was caused by salmonella contamination and was linked to more than 400 cases of illness dating back to August 2006.

Many dogs and cats died or became ill from the contaminated pet food.

The Peter Pan and pet food contaminations have led to many lawsuits.

Mr. Loughery said he believes the recent spate of recalls is a result of a higher degree of diligence by manufacturers in the wake of the other contaminations.

‘I think companies are becoming more proactive in recalling products and in the testing of their products,’ he said.

‘From our perspective, [any recall notice] we get from the FDA we’re going to act on.’

Kirk Supermarket Assistant Manager John Shirley said his store normally carries some Roland olives, but is out of stock.

The American Roland Food Corporation, which distributes the Roland brand in the United States, stated on its website that only its Italian Cerignola olives in five-pound bags were being recalled.

‘No other Roland brand olives or Roland brand products are affected,’ the website stated.

The affected olives should not be eaten alone or in other foods, even if they do not appear to be spoiled, the FDA stated in a press release issued last Friday.

‘If in doubt, consumers should contact the retailer and inquire whether its olives are part of the recall,’ the FDA release added.

Mr. Loughery said residents should contact Foster’s customer service if they had any questions.

Foster’s is encouraging all customers who have purchased Roland Olives to return the affected product for a full refund.

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