NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev. - A North Las Vegas company is being blamed for a nationwide recall that affects more than 100 types of processed food. 8 News NOW has also uncovered disturbing details about how long company representatives knew they had problems with salmonella contamination.
The Food and Drug Administration announced Wednesday that Basic Food Flavorings knew about the contamination of its equipment back in January, but continued to ship its flavor-enhancing ingredient until mid-February. The ingredient, hydrolyzed vegetable protein or HVP, is used in processed foods such as taquitos, seasoned snacks and dips.
Rylee Gustafson knows the dangers of food contamination. She was a victim of it several years ago. At age nine, she was hospitalized for more than a month after eating spinach contaminated with E. coli. "My organs started to shut down," she said. "I developed diabetes, and I went through psychosis. It was really crazy." Since then, Gustafson has become an advocate for food safety. She has testified before Congress and lobbies for better food safety laws.
Watch Rylee Gustafson's Testimony Before Congress
"(Basic Food Flavorings) need(s) to be interested, because this is a really big deal," she said. "If we are questioning, ‘Is this going to be good for me to eat,' it's kind of scary." Federal officials say Basic Food Flavorings conducted a major recall of its products. So far, no illnesses have been tied to the recalled products.
Regardless, Gustafson hopes laws are soon in place to stop outbreaks and recalls before they happen. "You are losing a lot of consumers, and you need to think of others, not just your company," she said.
8 News NOW tried to contact Basic Food Flavorings, but our calls and e-mails were not returned. There are also reports the company may be closing for good.
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EXPOSING the FDA and the USDA - Broad Casting here the things that they would prefer us NOT to know about our FOOD & DRUGS & Farming.