This is a press release from Quaker Canada dated November 26, 2010 that I received via the Anaphylaxis Canada Newtwork:
PEANUT ALLERGY ALERT: QUAKER CANADA URGES PUBLIC TO TAKE NOTE OF RECALL OF 14 COUNT QUAKER CHEWY GRANOLA BARS VALUE PACKS
MISSISSAUGA, ON, Nov. 26 /CNW/ - Quaker Canada, a division of PepsiCo Foods Canada, urges Canadians who have purchased 14 count Quaker Chewy Granola Bars Value Pack cartons to be mindful and check the UPC bar code in light of a possible allergic reaction that occurred this week. No other packages of Quaker bars or Quaker products are affected.
Quaker Canada is investigating how the cartons were mis-labeled and is focused on actions to alert consumers and recover the product from the marketplace.
The recall was announced on November 24. Today, Quaker Canada is:
•Working with customers nationally to retrieve the affected product from store shelves as quickly as possible;
•Working with Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency;
•Working with Anaphylaxis Canada and other health groups to reach Canadians with peanut and tree nut allergies;
•Notifying school boards across Canada;
•Taking out newspaper advertisements advising of the recall to further raise awareness;
•Conducting a thorough investigation to understand how the mis-labeling took place.
"We are recovering these products as quickly as possible. We immediately halted our packaging operations at the location where this error occurred. Following our investigation of what took place, we will put an action plan in place to ensure this doesn't happen again," said Kathryn Matheson, Vice President, Quaker Canada.
The 14 count Quaker Chewy Granola Bars Value Pack cartons that were mis-labeled carry the UPC Bar Code 55577 10742. Consumers with the product should inspect the contents of the carton to ensure it contains the correct product - Chewy Chocolate Chip and Chewy S'mores bars. No other packages of Quaker bars or Quaker products are affected.
The company has recalled the 14 count Quaker Chewy Granola Bars Value Packs because the outside packaging erroneously states that the boxes should contain Chewy Chocolate Chip and Chewy S'mores bars, both of which are made in a peanut free facility. If the carton contains Dipps Chocolate Chip and Dipps Caramel Nut bars and a consumer has a peanut or tree nut allergy, they should return it to the retailer where it was purchased for a refund. There is no health risk associated with handling the mis-labeled carton for disposal or return, however this product should not be consumed by those in a peanut or tree nut-allergic household.
The company received a report of a consumer experiencing an anaphylactic reaction after consuming a granola bar that potentially came from a mis-labeled 14 count Quaker Chewy Granola Bars Value Pack. The individual was treated in hospital and is now recovering at home.
"We are relieved and glad to hear the consumer is stable. We urge Canadians to consider the seriousness of this recall and to make extra effort to check product labels every single time, something Quaker Canada wants to emphasize, particularly for those consumers who may have this product in their home," said Matheson.
Consumers with questions may contact Quaker Canada by calling the toll-free hotline at 1-800-267-6287.
For more information, please visit www.quakeroats.ca.
So obviously this is a MAJOR mistake, but as someone who is allergic to peanuts, and has a boy allergic to tree nuts mistakes like this can be fatal. I have always made it a habit to read labels each and every time. If I buy 2 boxes of the exact same cereal that I've been eating for 15 years, I’ll re-read both boxes before they go into the cart. Despite my efforts, I can sort of understand how a parent would buy the same product repeatedly and just open the box and place a bar in the child's lunch box without necessarily looking at the package. When we place our trust in reputable manufacturers there is an inherent assumption that if it states 'peanut free', that the product is in fact peanut free. I have always been a big fan of the Quaker granola bars, they seem to be doing their best at handling the situation. Unfortunately there has been one reported reaction. This has taught me to NEVER let my guard down.