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September 22, 2000

Kraft Recalls All Taco Bell Home Originals Taco Shell Products

Taco Bell shellsNorthfield, IL (SafetyAlerts) - Kraft Foods said today it is voluntarily recalling all Taco Bell Home Originals taco shell products sold nationwide in supermarkets and other retail grocery outlets. Tests performed by an expert independent laboratory have indicated the presence in certain samples of a variety of corn Kraft had not specified for the product and which has not been approved for use in food.

While the corn variety, known as "StarLink," has not yet been approved for use in food, at this point there appears to be no evidence of adverse health effects.

The products being recalled are:

- Taco Bell Home Originals 12 Taco Shells
- Taco Bell Home Originals 18 Taco Shells
- Taco Bell Home Originals Taco Dinner (12 Shells, Sauce & Seasoning).

Consumers who have purchased any of these products should not eat them, and should return the packages to the store where they were purchased for a full refund.

Consumers with questions about the products involved in the recall can find information at the company's website, Consumers can also call 1-800-433-9361 from 8 a.m. to midnight EDT.

As soon as Kraft learned of the possibility of a product ingredient problem, the company began immediate consultations with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and with its supplier. Kraft is licensed by Taco Bell to use the name on taco shell products sold only in supermarkets. Kraft purchases finished taco shell products for the Taco Bell taco line from Sabritas Mexicali, a wholly-owned subsidiary of PepsiCo, Inc. in Mexicali, Mexico. Sabritas purchases corn flour for the product from Azteca Milling L.P., which processes the flour in its Plainview, TX, mill.

The specifications for the corn Azteca purchased for the taco shells were confined solely to several varieties of conventional yellow corn, and did not include the "StarLink" corn.

Kraft has pledged full cooperation with FDA to help in any way it can to determine how the "StarLink" corn became mixed with the product ingredients. The company will discontinue production of the taco shell products until it can be assured that the raw materials and finished products provided by its suppliers are in full compliance with all regulatory requirements.

"All of us - government, industry and the scientific community - need to work on ways to prevent this kind of situation from ever happening again," Holden noted.

Kraft has four specific improvements the company is recommending for enhancing the safe entry of biotechnology into the marketplace, and encourages the appropriate regulatory authorities to consider the following:

  • Discontinuing partial approvals of advances in plant biotechnology, and not allowing crops approved for animal use to enter the market unless they have also been approved for use in food.

  • Requiring as a pre-condition to approval that a fully validated testing procedure be in place for identifying the relevant DNA in crops and in finished products.

  • Requiring mandatory review of all plant biotechnology advances by the appropriate government agencies before those advances enter the market.

  • Strengthening the requirements for environmental stewardship of plant biotechnology to enhance the integrity of the food supply chain from farm to finished product.

Selected Recent Recalls

Health Professional:

Did you know?
During 2000 there were over
1050 products recalled in the United
States for safety reasons!

How many did you hear about?

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