Nearly 1,000 Pounds of Brownies Recalled Over Health Concerns, FDA Warns


Anyone who's a dessert fan knows how hard it can be to pass up a good brownie. Whether it's a post-meal treat or an afternoon indulgence when a sweet tooth hits, the chewy chocolate treat is arguably one of the most popular comfort foods out there. And even though the thought of biting into a homemade brownie still warm from the oven is a culinary ideal, they can also be too tempting to resist when you pass the bakery aisle at your local grocery store. But now, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) is warning that nearly 1,000 pounds of brownies are being recalled over health concerns. Read on to learn more about why the product poses a safety risk.

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Brownies sold at H-E-B grocery stores are being recalled.

On Jan. 11, the FDA announced that Texas-based Ameripack Foods LLC had issued a recall for 976 pounds of its H-E-B Meal Simple Chocolate Chunk Brownie. The affected items were sold at H-E-B supermarkets across the state of Texas.

The product in question was sold in a 13-ounce format and packaged in a clear plastic-wrapped tray. It can also be identified by the UPC 4122077413 and a use-by date of 1/12/2023 printed on its label.

The company pulled the item from shelves due to a potentially serious health concern.
RgStudio / iStock

According to the recall notice, the company pulled the sweet treats from shelves after discovering the brownie trays were mislabeled as Sopapilla Cheesecake. The product mixup means that the item has undeclared soy and egg, which are known food allergens. The FDA warns that anyone with an allergy or sensitivity to those ingredients "run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume this product." Thankfully, the company says there haven't been any reported cases of illness or adverse reactions related to the products so far.

In this case, the FDA's jurisdiction comes from the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA), which Congress passed in 2004. The legislation established eight major food allergens that "accounted for 90 percent of food allergies and serious allergic reactions in the U.S.," according to the agency. The law requires all packaging to declare the presence of "known allergens" in products, including shellfish, milk, eggs, fish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soybeans. Sesame was recently added to the list after the Food Allergy Safety, Treatment, Education, and Research Act (FASTER) went into effect on Jan. 1.

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Customers should return the affected items to H-E-B right away.

The agency advises any customers who purchased the recalled brownies to "discontinue use immediately." They can also return them to the nearest H-E-B location for a full refund.

The FDA also urges anyone with immediate questions or concerns about their health related to the recall to contact their physician or healthcare provider right away. In addition, anyone with general queries can contact Ameripack Foods at the contact number listed on the agency's recall notice.

Other recalls have recently been issued over undeclared allergens.
Shutterstock / Studio KIWI

Unfortunately, this isn't the only recent example of undeclared allergens sparking a major recall. On Jan. 3, the FDA announced that Texas-based Avery's Savory Popcorn had issued a recall for all flavors of its Gourmet Popcorn products sold online and shipped to nine states. The company said that a "temporary breakdown in the company's production and packaging processes" led to potential allergens in the products not being listed on the label, including milk, soy, peanuts, sulfites, and tree nuts such as almonds, walnuts, pecans, and cashews.

A week later, the FDA announced a similar recall from Daiso California for 12 food products sold in its stores. The affected items included different types of snacks, including various flavors of popcorn, biscuits, potato rings, and crackers. According to the company, it issued the recall because the products contained undeclared almonds, peanuts, soybeans, milk, and shellfish.

And on Dec. 15, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced that Idaho-based Mountain View Packaging had issued a recall for its Crispy Chicken with Almonds entrée products. The affected items were distributed to more than 1,300 Walmart stores across 29 states. In this case, the agency said the products were pulled from shelves after customers complained that the product actually contained shrimp instead of poultry, constituting an undeclared allergen. Customers who purchased the item were urged to throw it away immediately or return it to their place of purchase.