September 22, 2000
Kraft Recalls All Taco Bell Home Originals Taco Shell Products
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
- Taco Bell Home Originals 12 Taco
- 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, www.kraftfoods.com/special_report.
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
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.
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