Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Big Brother Ralphs Knows When You've Purchased Salmonella-Laced Groceries

Earlier today my friend Joe Flint sent out this tweet:

Got call from food company telling me dip I bought (and ate) is contaminated. Torn between being appreciative and amazed at lack of privacy.

Turns out it was a container of Dean's Guacamole Dip, which he had bought at Ralphs. The grocery chain found him through his Ralphs club card. Creepy/Big Brother move on the part of Ralphs? Perhaps -- but it did keep Joe from scarfing down some not-so-tasty salmonella.

According to Ventura Foods, which manufactures the product for Dean's Dip, a flavor enhancer may be contaminated with salmonella:

The voluntary recall involves a flavor enhancer called hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP), which is used to make Dean’s Creamy Taco Dip. The other six Dean’s Dip products were manufactured on the same equipment.

"Flavor enhancer"? Turns out Dean's Guacamole Dip is one of those "guacamole" products that is almost totally manufactured. Here's what is listed on the ingredient list:

Skim Milk, Soybean Oil, Tomatoes, Water, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil (Coconut Oil, Safflower and/or Corn Oil), Eggs, Distilled Vinegar, Avocado Pulp, Onions, Salt, Nonfat Dry Milk, Egg Yolks, Lactic Acid, Sugar, Whey, Sodium Caseinate, Mono and Diglycerides, Gelatin, Soy Protein Isolate, Xanthan Gum, Corn Starch, Guar Gum, Mustard Flour, Black Pepper, Red Chili Pepper, Potassium Sorbate and Sodium Benzoate (Added to Retard Spoilage), Coriander, Lemon Juice Concentrate, Cellulose Gel, Cellulose Gum, Locust Bean Gum, Disodium Phosphate, Cilantro, Gum Arabic, Extractives of Garlic and Black Pepper, Paprika Oil, Oregano, Thyme, Bay Leaf, Calcium Chloride, Citric Acid, Dextrose, Artificial Color (FD&C Blue No. 1, FD&C Red No. 40, FD&C Yellow No. 5, FD&C Yellow No. 6).

Joe: I think Ralphs just saved your life.

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