Sunday, August 13, 2017

E. Coli and Mislabeling Cause Chocolate Recalls

Two recalls to share today -- one on cake and one on ice cream. Sounds like a birthday combination to me! That might be because this time of year is heavy on the birthdays in my household. Neither of these recalls apply to me personally but I know they might affect some of you. Ready? Here we go for the recalls.

---------- Recalls Involving Chocolate ----------

Schnucks Bakery Mislabeled Cakes

Schnucks Bakery, a St. Louis, Mo. establishment, is issuing an allergy alert on 13 German Chocolate Cakes labeled as “Schnucks Bakery Deluxe Petite Cake Chocolate Iced Yellow” that contain pecans that are not listed on the ingredient label. Those with an allergy or severe sensitivity to pecans run the risk of a serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume this product.
The cakes are approximately one pound in weight, packaged in small plastic cake domes and were sold in 12 Schnucks retail stores in Missouri, Illinois and Indiana. Please see below for a complete list of affected stores.

Customers are urged to check for:

German Chocolate Cake Labeled as “Schnucks Bakery Deluxe Petite Cake Chocolate Iced Yellow”
UPC: 41318 31168, Sell By Date: 8/12/17 – 8/14/17


The mislabeling was brought to the company’s attention by an employee. There have been no reports of illness associated with consumption of this product to date.

Schnucks Customers who purchased the affected product from Schnucks Bakery departments are encouraged to return it to their store of purchase for a full refund. Those with questions regarding the recall should contact the Schnucks Consumer Affairs department at 314-994-4400, Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. CDT. Media with questions can contact Paul Simon, Schnucks senior communications specialist, at 314-994-4603.

Schnucks stores affected by this recall:


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The Comfy Cow is recalling pints of Banana Puddin Y’all, 

Chocolate Squared 

Comfy Cow Chocolate Squared

Cookies and Cream

Comfy Cow Cookies and Cream

Cow Trax
 
Comfy Cow Cow Trax
Double Fold Vanilla, Georgia Butter Pecan

Intense Dark Chocolate

Comfy Cow Intense Dark Chocolate

Salted Caramel, Strawberry Fields Forever due to a potential contamination of E. coli. E. coli bacteria can cause diarrhea and dehydration. Most people who are infected recover, but the bacteria can be deadly.

On 07/19/2017 the firm was notified through internal firm product sample testing that pints of Banana Puddin Y’all, Chocolate Squared2, Cookies and Cream, Cow Trax, Double Fold Vanilla, Georgia Butter Pecan, Intense Dark Chocolate, Salted Caramel, Strawberry Fields Forever were either positive for E. coli or showed high counts of coliform.

No illnesses have been reported to date.

Products affected are:


The products were distributed between 06/13/2017 and 07/21/2017.  These products were packaged in pint containers and sold primarily in retail stores located in the States of: Kentucky, Missouri, Indiana, and Tennessee.

Consumers who have purchased these products are urged to return them to the place of purchase for a full refund or they may discard the product. Consumers with questions may contact the production facility at 502-384-2556, M-F, 9am-3pm EST.

This recall is being made with the knowledge of the Food and Drug Administration.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Back to School Gluten Free and Chocolatey

We've talked about Jovial Foods previously here on The Chocolate Cult but I've been saving this feature article for now as children (and some adults) head back to school. Some students and teachers still pack lunches to take with us and many of those same folks find they are hungry after classes hours before dinnertime. Within those categories of folks looking for treats or snacks, are those who follow a gluten-free diet for various reasons. Chocolate bars shouldn't have gluten; if yours does, toss that out! But chocolatey cookies are another matter and cookies are a common item to include in lunches or use as after school snacks. Jovial offers Gluten Free Chocolate Cream Filled Cookies for those trying to find a treat to meet their desires. They sent us three free boxes of this product in exchange for us testing out and reporting on our experiences with the treat; no other form of compensation was received.

Unlike the previous cookies we looked at from Jovial, these are not made with einkorn but do include organic rice flour, organic chick pea flour, and organic buckwheat flour; these cookies are sort of "gluten free" certified at less than 10PPM. Only you can know your tolerance for gluten. It also includes organic hazelnuts so be aware if you have these food allergies. Most importantly for us is the organic cocoa on the ingredient list. The cookie outside is a crisp but not dry nor hard cocoay dome. It made a loud crunch when I took a bite and continued to make such sounds as I chewed. I could not break it in half with my hands but a sharp knife worked as you can see in our photo to the left. Inside is a pudding like center that has a very light hazelnut flavor but is strongly chocolate. Not too sweet this was enjoyed by everyone I shared them with.

But how is this a back to school treat? Two cookies equal a serving of 160 calories so less than the standard candy bar you might be tempted to pack. They come two to a plastic sleeve so you can easily portion control and protect the cookies at the same time. While these are tasty there are some ingredients that made me frown. The company spends a lot of time boosting about organic this and farm-raised that but it also uses palm oil. I don't care how "environmentally responsible" you might think the company you are buying palm oil from is, it all contributes to deforestation when there are many other oil alternatives you could use including cocoa butter itself or simply more of the other oils and fats on the ingredient list. There always alternatives and it was disappointing to see palm oil listed on these otherwise wonderful treats.

For flavor and portability these are excellent choices and earn Sacrament Status... now get rid of the palm oil, Jovial Foods, and you can be at the top of our 2017 list of products!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Are You Ready for the 10th Annual Chocolate Walk?

In just three months, I and a few others will meet up in Nashville, Indiana, for a charity event we've been doing for 8 years. The Brown County Humane Society's Chocolate Walk. This year marks the 10th year they've been organizing this event. In honor of that, I recently went to their headquarters to check them out, interview people there, and highlight some of the pets up for adoption in a rare video interview here on The Chocolate Cult. My visit resulted in a nice video that I've broken into three parts so you aren't overwhelmed. Today we'll look at part one and then over the next two weeks, the other two parts. I hope you enjoy it and leave comments either here or on YouTube.


Thursday, August 10, 2017

S'Mores Flashback

Today in honor of National S'Mores Day my family will be making s'mores after dinner. For now, I want to share some memories from previous s'mores articles here on The Chocolate Cult.  Wow, we've done a lot with s'mores over the years, haven't we? Enjoy!

Sterno S'Mores Kit



S'Mores PopTarts