Sunday, July 31, 2016

Massive Bakery Goods Recall Involving Metal and E Coli

The E. Coli recalls are not over yet, folks! While flour isn't chocolate, we use flour in so many of our chocolatey treats that I felt I needed to share it with you. After this listing keep reading because a massive 30 product recall has also been issued that you need to be aware of and this one involves metal in the food. Remember! Only by being aware can you protect your family and yourself from foodborne illnesses and foreign objects in your food.

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General Mills Expands Retail Flour Recall

Consumers are reminded not to eat uncooked dough or batter made with raw flour
Due to four new confirmed illnesses, General Mills is adding additional flour production dates to the previously announced U.S. retail flour recall that was originally announced on May 31, 2016. The illnesses reported to health officials continue to be connected with consumers reporting that they ate or handled uncooked dough or ate uncooked batter made with raw flour. No illnesses have been connected with flour that has been properly baked, cooked or handled.

The addition of new flour production dates is the result of General Mills conducting proactive flour testing and new information from health officials who are using new whole genome sequencing techniques to trace illnesses. E.coli (several sub-types) has been detected in a small number of General Mills flour samples and some have been linked to new patient illnesses that fell outside of the previously recalled dates.

At this time, it is unknown if we are experiencing a higher prevalence of E.coli in flour than normal, if this is an issue isolated to General Mills’ flour, or if this is an issue across the flour industry. The newer detection and genome sequencing tools are also possibly making a connection to flour that may have always existed at these levels.

“As a leader in flour production for 150 years, General Mills is committed to convening experts to work with government officials to learn more and create new protocols, if needed,” said General Mills President and Chief Operating Officer Jeff Harmening. “Most importantly, we want all the avid home bakers out there to have peace of mind and know the most important thing they can do to keep safe is to not eat uncooked flour.”

Flour is a raw ingredient that is intended to be cooked or baked.  Flour is made from wheat that is grown outdoors where bacteria are often present and the normal flour milling process does not remove these bacteria.

In order for severe E. coli illness to occur from flour, all three of the following things have to happen:

The flour a consumer is using has to contain the rare sub-types of E.coli that can make you sick.
The consumer has to eat raw dough, batter or other uncooked food made with the flour, or handle the raw dough and not wash their hands.
The consumer’s individual health characteristics will impact if they get sick and how severely. Some consumers have mild symptoms and others get very sick. It is not always known who will get sick and who will not.
Previously announced recalled flour production dates ranged from November 4, 2015 through December 4, 2015. The expansion announced today includes select production dates through February 10, 2016. The new recall applies only to the specific product and date codes listed below.
13.5 ounce Gold Medal Wondra
Package UPC 000-16000-18980
Recalled Better if Used by Dates 14MAY2017PK
2lb Gold Medal All Purpose Flour
Package UPC 000-16000-10710
Recalled Better if Used by Dates 18JUN2017KC, 01AUG2017KC, 13AUG2017KC through 21AUG2017KC
10lb Gold Medal All Purpose Flour
Package UPC 000-16000-10410
Recalled Better if Used by Dates 18JUN2017KC, 01AUG2017KC
5lb Gold Medal All Purpose Flour
Package UPC 000-16000-10610
Recalled Better if Used by Dates 18JUN2017KC, 01AUG2017KC, 13AUG2017KC through 21AUG2017KC
5lb Gold Medal Self Rising Flour
Package UPC 000-16000-11610
Recalled Better if Used by Dates 27OCT2016KC
4.25lb Gold Medal All Purpose Flour
Package UPC 000-16000-12670
Recalled Better if Used by Dates 01AUG2017KC, 19AUG2017KC, 20AUG2017KC, 21AUG2017KC
5lb Gold Medal Unbleached Flour
Package UPC 000-16000-19610
Recalled Better if Used by Dates 01AUG2017KC, 14AUG2017KC, 15AUG2017KC, 16AUG2017KC, 17AUG2017KC, 19AUG2017KC, 20AUG2017KC
2lb Signature Kitchens All Purpose Flour Enriched Bleached
Package UPC 000-21130-53000
Recalled Better if Used by Dates BB 15 AUG 2017, BB 16 AUG 2017
5lb Signature Kitchens Unbleached Flour All Purpose Enriched
Package UPC 000-21130-53022
Recalled Better if Used by Dates BB 01 AUG 2017
Consumers are asked to throw away any flour in their possession that is part of this recall. A full list of retail products included in the flour recall since May 31, 2016 can be found at www.generalmills.com/flour.

Although most strains of E. coli are harmless, others can make you sick. Some strains of E. coli create potentially deadly bacterium that can cause bloody diarrhea and dehydration. Seniors, the very young, and persons with compromised immune systems are the most susceptible to foodborne illness. Guidance from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) can be found on the FDA website and the CDC website.

Anyone diagnosed by a physician as having an illness related to E. coli is also urged to contact state and local public health authorities.

Consumers with questions or requesting replacement product should contact General Mills at 1-800-230-8103. Consumer information can also be found at www.generalmills.com/flour.

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Sunbury, PA – Weis Markets is issuing a voluntary recall for 30 bakery products including muffins, cookies, shortbread and baked bread items due to the potential presence of small metal fragments (2-9mm) in the sugar topping used on these products. This voluntary action is being taken due to our supplier’s recall of the sugar ingredient. Foodborne foreign objects that are not hard and sharp and less than or equal to 7mm in length may cause minor injuries such as temporary reflexive choking and irritation of the gastrointestinal system. Weis Markets has received no reports of adverse reactions or injuries due to consumption of these products to date.

The muffins are packaged in a plastic medium salad container. The loaf bread and cookies are packaged in a plastic hinged container, and the Irish soda bread is packaged in a plastic bag. The sell by date can be found at the bottom of the scale label affixed to the packaging. Products included in this recall were distributed in Weis Markets’ stores, specific product names and information are listed below.


Saturday, July 30, 2016

Attention Happy Campers! Get Your Ice Cream Here!

Today is the last day of National Ice Cream Month but that doesn't mean that you can't enjoy ice cream and other chocolatey frozen treats during other months. August and September when I grew up (Iowa) and where I currently live (Indiana) tend to be hot and frozen treats can feel like a must. Not only can you enjoy frozen treats but there are upcoming Fun Food Holidays you can celebrate, too. August will see a National S'mores Day on August 10, 2016. In preparation for that and to close out our July frozen treats features, we are going to look at the new S'Mores Stickless Bars from Klondike.  I found these are my nearby Marsh grocery store but I've also seen them in Kroger so I'm hopeful you'll be able to find them where you live if you think these are a treat your family will enjoy. I was able to share these with two of our Acolytes and my family to get their perspectives on these ice cream bars. Unilever sent me a coupon for a free 6-bar package of this new flavor so we could test it and review it honestly; no other form of compensation was received in exchange for this feature article.

On the outside these look and smell like most Klondike bars -- chocolatey coating with very little scent. That happens a lot with frozen chocolate, it has little to no scent unless it is very dark.


Inside you can see a difference. The vanilla ice cream is lined with what might be graham crackers... I can certain smell that fragrance as soon as I cut one open. The ice cream is very creamy smell with a sweet graham crackers overtone; still no chocolatey scent. The shell makes a lot snap and crunch as I take a bite and chew. This close now I can see the graham crackers are indeed those thin lines. The ice cream is mostly creamy and sweet; either my mind was playing tricks on me or it does have a marshmallowy flavor.  The graham crackers taste is now on par with the added in chocolatey flavor. Everyone who tried these agreed that they did taste a lot like a S'More would if you had a frozen one. Personally I wish the chocolate was stronger but then I prefer to use darker chocolate bars when I make traditional style of S'Mores. You need to eat these fast because it starts to melt as soon as you take them out of the freezer, particularly if you hold it in your hands. You can eat with the wrapper still partly around it but I think that makes it melt even faster!

So one big problem with taking these out camping would be keeping them cold. Tell me, have you had these, out camping or not, and what did you think about them. We liked it and could consider indoor camping to just have an excuse to eat them again.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Devastating Theo Chocolate Recall

I'm am devastated! I love Theo Chocolate and with the exception of one bar we've tried over our seven years of The Chocolate Cult, everyone testing products for us has loved them. But every brand seems to get hit by food recalls today and this is no exception. This bar, which we have not tested, looks good otherwise.

Don't worry though because this is only important if you have a serious dairy allergy and this is a labeling issue not anything to do with the various food illness and contaminations we've been forced to share with you all for months and months.

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Theo Chocolate Issues Allergy Alert on Undeclared Milk in Salted Almond 70% Dark Chocolate

Theo Chocolate of Seattle, Washington is voluntarily recalling 3 ounce Salted Almond 70% Dark Chocolate bars because they may contain undeclared milk. People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to milk run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume this product.
Salted Almond 70% Dark Chocolate was distributed to retail stores in AZ, CA, CO, GA, IA, ID, FL, MI, MT, ND, NH, OR, NJ, NY, PA, TX, WA, and WI.

The Theo Chocolate Salted Almond 70% Dark Chocolate bars have the affected lot 3037431 and the expiration date 05/2017 and they are found on the back side of the bar.

Theo Chocolate Salted Almond 70% Dark Chocolate bars are wrapped in a white paper envelope, weighs 3 oz., UPC is 8 74492 00170 4, and stored at room temperature. (See front label below.)

No illnesses have been reported to date.

The voluntary recall was initiated after the firm received a consumer complaint and discovered that the actual product inside the wrapper was milk salted almond bar and it contains milk. This product was mis-labeled as Salted Almond 70% Dark Chocolate and did not reveal the presence of milk.

This voluntaryrecall is being made with the knowledge of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Consumers who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to milk are urged not to consume this product and should return it to the place of purchase for a full refund.

Consumers with questions may contact Theo Chocolate at 1-206-632-5100 x1001 from 8:30am until 5:30pm PST, Monday-Friday.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Starfleet Worthy Chocolates

Do you plan to see the latest Star Trek movie when it comes out in a few weeks? Or do you hate the reboot and cling to the original? Or do you just love it all depending on the actors, director, and writers? Regardless of your geek leanings, we have some items from the StarTrek universe made by Tempting Sweets whose creator, Missy, you should have read our interview with earlier this week. You missed it? Go back and find it here. This first photo isn't great but I need to get a photo taken as soon as Tempting Sweets dropped some of their goodies off at my book table (I had sells but not enough to cover convention expenses). Back to Tempting Sweets. As you can see we got four treat-types from two science fiction worlds -- Star Trek and Star Wars. In honor of the new movie and in prep for the new series that CBS has announced, let's look at the Star Trek offering.

Star Trek insignia are a dual treat of peanut butter and milk chocolate as you can see here in this photo. This photo was taken at the convention, thus the black background which is giving everything a bit of a reddish hue. Different designs on the insignia represented different ships, different positions, and different periods within the Star Trek universe. This, I believe, is the "original" one from the TV series, the one most of us know... but I don't think the ones that Kirk and Spock wore were edible. The scent of these depends on which side you bring to your nose -- a light cocoa for the top, a light sweet peanut from the bottom. Biting into it makes little sound and if I bite with the bottom side down, the initial and final flavors are peanut butter, creamy, sweet, very fudge like with a streak of chocolate. If I bite with it flipped, this strengthens the chocolate flavor a lot, making the peanut butter a mild one that builds up but never displaces the chocolate. the two layers do try to separate from each other but once you start chewing they get mixed up pretty well. This isn't an intense flavor at all so easily accessible to the basic chocolate and peanut butter lover of all ages.




In this last photo I changed the background color so you can see these emblems in a new way. See how much color and lighting affect a photo? The colors that I see with my eyes are closer to those on the white background. Other senses are not affected by such changes. Tempting Sweets does not have a storefront, they sell on the convention circuit but you can check them out to see where they might be appearing next if you follow our links in this review. If you've tried the goodies from Tempting Sweets, leave a comment and let me know where you found and which fandom you ate.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Justin's versus Unreal Junk Food

Today is National Junk Food Day yet oddly I'm going to look at two products that might claim they would not qualify as junk food. One of these, Justin's, prides itself on Organic products that run seem to focus a lot on peanut butter. Now peanut butter can be a very good snack that most folks think is fairly healthy for you particularly if you aren't getting the kind that has added fats or sugars. The other product, Unreal, is all about unjunking junk foods by being gluten free, no trans fats, no GMOs, vegan, no preservatives, and no chemicals according to their labels. So I bought both of these on sale and I decided to compare them. I hope you have an opinion about these products because I expect to see your thoughts in some comments!

Both of these are dark chocolate peanut butter cups and as you can see they look very similar. However they are very different nutritionally. The Justin's has 230 calories for two cups but the Unreal has 180 for both cups; that's a 50 calories difference! Where is that difference coming from? The total fat difference is small, only 1 gram of saturated fat; similarly the difference in protein is only 1 gram. The difference is in the carbs -- Justin's has 21 grams with 1 grams fiber and 17 grams sugars; Unreal has 4 g fiber and 12 grams sugars. 1 gram sugar = 9 calories so the vast majority of the calorie difference is in the amount of sugars.

Inside the peanut is different. The Justin's is softer and oozed out a little but while the Unreal was firmer.  The Unreal has a much stronger dark chocolate smell, as soon as I opened it my nose told me "dark chocolate". Neither has a particularly strong peanut butter scent; if I didn't know it was peanut butter it could have been almost any other type of non-fragrance nut butter.

Finally there are the taste and texture differences. The Justin's is very inside, the dark chocolate shell did make a snap when I take a bite. The peanut butter has a light sweet taste and the chocolate is surprisingly dark given the lack of scent. The Unreal is a bit firmer and the peanut butter has a more roasted flavor. The shell is as bitter tasting and oddly doesn't blend as well with the peanut butter in the center, leaving a slightly bitter aftertaste. That's fine for me because I prefer more bitter chocolate.

I'm torn between these two. I like them for different reasons, I could see myself eating either of the again. So I need to know: Which do you prefer?

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Meet The Mistress of Tempting Sweets

Sisters and Brothers, please join me in welcoming, Missy Ciavarelli from Tempting Sweets. Missy, thank you for answering a few questions from us. In two weekends we're going to have our first feature of her fun creations but today I want us all to just learn more about her. How much will Missy have in common with other chocolate and candy makers I've met at conventions? Let's find out!

I met you at a fandom convention called MARCON. How long have you been attending fan run conventions, Missy?

This is my second full year at cons. Before that, I spent a couple of years doing mostly craft fairs and the like. But even at those, my sci-fi designs were my best sellers, so I knew it was time to go to the real geeks (and yes, I only use geek as a compliment).

You are a legal assistant but you also a chocolate seller so let's focus on chocolate. What other conventions do you generally attend to sell your chocolate creations?

There is a local series of shows called Oddmall which I just love. Billed as "not your grandma's craft fair," it's an eclectic mix of vendors, cosplaying, and general geekery. I've also been to Steel City Con in Pittsburgh a couple of times and hope to return later this year.

I've traveled as far as Indiana and New Jersey, but prefer to stay a little closer to home.  

How did you get into selling chocolate at fan run or other conventions?

I started making it for fun. It wasn't long before someone suggested I try to sell it, so I gave it a shot. My first craft show was pretty small, and I did a lot of those for a while before deciding to make the leap into cons. 

How did you come up with the name "Tempting Sweets" for your products?

I have a friend who used to call me "sweets." I thought that translated well into a chocolate business - there's certainly little that is more tempting! 

I recall a lot of molded chocolates at your table but what is the full range of sweets that you make to sell?

It's pretty much all molded. I've given some thought into expanding beyond that, but I never seem to have enough time. 

Not everything I saw from Tempting Sweets had a science fiction, fantasy, or fandom theme but much of it did. Do you vary which products you bring based on the convention?

I have hundreds of molds, for all occasions. For shows that are not specifically geek themed, I tend to go with whatever holiday is nearby. Naturally, I get busier around Easter, Halloween, and Christmas. But I've also worked on designs for birthdays, baby showers, bridal showers, etc.  

What was the first molded chocolate that you made and what type of chocolate did you use -- white, milk, semi-, dark?

Funny that I can actually remember the first design. I still have it too. It was the shape of a bat, and had a part that could be stuck into cupcakes as a topper. I thought it was a really fun idea for Halloween. Then came the Christmas molds...and the Easter molds...and...

The first type of "chocolate" were those melted wafers you can get at most craft stores. I used a lot of colors then. They're reasonably cheap, and were a good way to start so I could practice my technique, but it's not quality chocolate. Now I use a brand called Merckens, which I get at a local cake and confectionary supply store. I use mostly dark chocolate - it's not only my favorite, but it seems to be other people's as well.

We talked a bit at the convention about how making chocolate to sell has affected your personal enjoyment of chocolate. Would you go into that for our readers a bit?

Because I'm around it so much now (I often have a 50# box of dark chocolate sitting in my kitchen), I find eat far less of it than I used to. I tend toward more salty snacks now. I haven't entirely lost my taste for chocolate, but it's not my go-to snack anymore either.

You don't just make chocolate you also paint your creations and sometimes mix flavors or have fillings. Where you get your supplies for these creations?

I get most of my supplies through a local small business that sells all manner of cake and confectionary supplies. The women who run it are extremely knowledgeable and knew me after just a couple of trips there. If they don't have something I need, I go online. My most popular filling though is a peanut butter mixture and that's just butter, peanut butter, powdered sugar and a little vanilla. 

What has been your favorite character to turn into chocolate? Why is that your favorite?

That's tough. Every time I get a new mold, it becomes my new favorite. One of my recent acquisitions was the AT-AT from Star Wars. But I love all my Star Wars molds - I grew up with those movies and I still want to be Princess Leia. So the Millennium Falcon, Yoda, Han Solo in Carbonite, and Death Star are all among my favorites. I'm also a huge Joss Whedon fan so the fact that I can make the Serenity out of chocolate is pretty cool too.

Finally, where will Tempting Sweets be for the rest of the 2016 convention season?

I am on a bit of a hiatus until Fall due to the higher temperatures of summer. Oddmall is expanding to Toledo in October, and returning to Canton in December. I will be at both. Probably a couple of other regional ones as well, but it's still early.

Thank you, Missy, again, for talking with us today. Sisters and Brothers, we're going to look at Tempting Sweets Star Trek and Star Wars themed creations in two separate features this year. You can find Tempting Sweets on Facebook, too! For now, please leave some comments for Missy and let her know you read or ask her other questions.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

2 Chocolate Recalls for July 17, 2016

We may have two recalls but compared to the past month of dozens of recalls at a time, this is good news.... maybe? Read these, check out the links, check your pantries and freezers, and PROTECT YOURSELF!

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Kroger Recalls Deluxe S'mores Ice Cream Due to Undeclared Allergens

The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) has recalled Kroger Deluxe S’mores Ice Cream (48 oz, tub) sold in its retail stores because the product may contain peanuts not listed on the label.  Kroger initiated the recall when a supplier, Grain Craft, indicated a raw ingredient may have become contaminated with low levels of peanut residue.

People who are allergic to peanuts could have a severe reaction if they consume this product. For consumers who are not allergic to peanuts, there is no safety issue with the product. No customer illnesses have been reported at this time.

All stores operating under the Kroger, Dillons, Baker’s, Gerbes, Food 4 Less, Fred Meyer, Fry’s, JayC, King Soopers, City Market, QFC, Ralphs and Smith’s names, stores located in Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming no other Kroger locations in Louisiana or Texas are included.

Kroger has removed this item from store shelves and initiated its customer recall notification system that alerts customers who may have purchased recalled Class 1 products through register receipt tape messages and phone calls.

Kroger is recalling the following item:

Product                                            UPC Codes         Size        Sell By Dates
Kroger Deluxe S’mores Ice Cream    0001111001399 48 oz      May 20, 2017
                                                                                                       May 23, 2017

Customers allergic to peanuts who have purchased the above product should not consume it and should return them to a store for a full refund or replacement.

Customers who have questions may contact Kroger at 1-800-KROGERS.

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(NOTE: This expands a previous IKEA recall so I'm only going to include photos of the new products.)

CHOKLAND MÖRK, CHOKLAND MÖRK 70%, (Photos on previous article on The Chocolate Cult)

CHOKLAD LINGON & BLABAR, 


CHOKLAD NÖT, 


GODIS CHOKLADKROKANT, 


GODIS CHOKLADRAN and 


CHOKLAD LJUS, 



are being recalled due to undeclared Milk, Hazelnuts and/or Almond. "All Best Before Dates," Sold from April 30, 2015 to July 1, 2016.

IKEA had samples of chocolate analyzed and found them to contain milk, hazelnut and/or almond. Persons allergic to milk, hazelnuts and/or almonds may have a severe to life-threatening reaction after consuming the dark chocolate.

Products have been distributed Nationwide at IKEA retail stores and sold individually. There has been no complaints or reported incidents in the United States to date. IKEA of Sweden has had one reported complaint in Japan. The chocolate products do carry an advisory statement, which identifies that the chocolate products may contain milk and tree nuts.

Consumers are encouraged to return the affected products to the nearest IKEA store for a full refund, proof of purchase is not required. If you have any questions or concerns please call Customer Service toll free (24/7) at 1-888-966-4532 or www.IKEA-usa.com.

We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.



Saturday, July 16, 2016

Giant Girl Scouts Thin Mint Ice Cream

Did you know that all of July is National Ice Cream Month? It is! Unlike many of our fun food holidays that we celebrate on The Chocolate Cult, National Ice Cream Month was created in 1894 by President Ronald Reagan so it is an official holiday. Even more than that, the 3rd Sunday in July is National Ice Cream Day and that is tomorrow! So let's look at another frozen chocolate treat that you might be able to find and use to celebrate tomorrow. I recall Good Humor growing up but beyond a name recognition I don't have specific details about what I may have eaten as a child. I didn't see Good Humor treats around for years and then slowly the brand has showed up in grocery shops near me. Good Humor has two new chocolate varieties this year -- Double Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwich and OREO Cone. None of the nearby grocery stores had either of these varieties so I had to travel a bit to try and find them. After exhausting all of the stores in our city and nearby ones, I had to admit defeat. However I did find a variety I had not yet tested so I hope that Good Humor will be content with this feature review. This variety is for their Girl Scout Thin Mint bars. Unilever sent me a coupon for a free box of one of these to test and review; no other form of compensation was received in exchange for this article.

The bars themselves are circular and have a strong mint chocolatey scent. Note that Thin Mints are not circular but these are close. Inside the chocolate coating and inside the chocolate ice cream we can see the bits and pieces of chocolate cookies. Note that this is ice cream so eating it like a cookie is likely to get a bit messy. I just licked my fingers off and used a napkin myself.


The chocolate coating by itself, I peels some away, has a light mint flavor but mostly chocolate, the cookie pieces are crunchy. The ice cream is very creamy chocolate, had a nice mint flavor that adds an extra cooling tingle, and the crunchy cookie pieces. All together this is very delicious and I will need to exercise portion control for my family I fear with these. Sadly we could only find these across town so we probably won't' get them often.


Have you had the Good Humor Girl Scouts Thin Mint ice cream bars before? What did you think of them? If you haven't, and you like Thin Mint cookies, try to find these. Please leave comments to let us know where you find these and other Good Humor products.


Sunday, July 10, 2016

Ice Cream and Caramel Delights Recalls

Only two recalls today so I'll share all of the information that I can have about them. Follow their links to learn more. Remember, use this to protect yourself and your family.

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Mister Cookie Face LLC, a Subsidiary of Fieldbrook Foods Corporation, Announces a Voluntary Recall of Sundae Shoppe Ice Cream Dipped Variety Cones for the Possible Presence of Undeclared Peanuts

Mister Cookie Face LLC, a subsidiary of Fieldbrook Foods Corporation, has issued a voluntary recall of Sundae Shop Novelty Ice Cream Dipped "Variety" Cones due to the possibility of peanuts on the product that are not declared on the allergen statement.

Individuals who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to peanuts run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume products containing peanut allergens.

The recalled product with the best before date November 14, 2017 may actually contain a Chocolate covered Vanilla Ice cream cone with peanut sprinkles on top. The label of the Sundae Shop Novelty Ice Cream Dipped "Variety" Cones does not list peanuts as an ingredient.

The affected product is packaged in a 32 oz. box containing eight ice cream cones, has the UPC code: 041498191962, and the plant code 34-2036, which is located next to the "best by" date.

The recalled Sundae Shoppe Ice Cream Dipped "Variety" Cones were distributed only through ALDI Inc. ALDI representatives worked with Mister Cookie Face to ensure any incorrectly packaged product was removed from the store shelves. No other Mister Cookie Face or ALDI products are affected by this recall.

Mister Cookie Face LLC and ALDI take the safety and integrity of their products seriously. If customers have product affected by this voluntary recall, they should discard it immediately or return it to their local store for a full refund.

Consumers with questions may contact the company at 1-800-333-0805 x2270.

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Cumberland Farms announces a voluntary recall of its SEA SALT CARAMEL DELIGHTS flavor of Cumberland Farms Farmhouse Premium Chocolate Treats due to concerns of the possible presence of peanuts.  People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to specific types of allergen, such as peanuts, run the risk of serious life threatening allergic reactions if they consume the product being recalled.
While the product line is available in multiple flavors, the only product being recalled is the SEA SALT CARAMEL DELIGHTS flavor of Cumberland Farms Farmhouse Premium Chocolate Treats which is only sold in 3-ounce bags.  Although this is believed to be an extremely isolated incident, effective immediately, all Cumberland Farms retail locations have withdrawn this product from sale.  This recall does not include any other flavor of Cumberland Farms Premium Chocolate Treats or Farmhouse Premium Chocolate Bars. 

Although the packaging clearly states the product is packed in a facility where other products containing peanuts, tree nuts, milk, wheat, soy and eggs are packaged, out of an abundance of caution, Cumberland Farms is recalling all of the three-ounce bags of the Cumberland Farms Farmhouse Premium Chocolate Treats SEA SALT CARAMEL DELIGHTS.

We were made aware of the presence of the peanuts through two customer complaints. Cumberland Farms is not aware of any related illnesses at this time.

Cumberland Farms is asking that customers who purchased the affected product discard it immediately or return the product to the nearest Cumberland Farms retail location for a full refund.

Consumers with questions may contact the company Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Eastern time at 508-270-1400.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

So Many Varieties of Chocolate Gelato

I first had gelato when I was living for two semesters in Rome, Italy, back in 1990-91. It tasted so light and the flavors seemed so much more intense than any ice cream I'd had before. Yet when I came back to Iowa I couldn't find it. When I lived in New York City in the mid 1990s I found it one or two but it still difficult to find. Now there's a little gelato shop in our college town and there are pints and quarts of gelato in most grocery shops. Among the many brands now offering gelato, Breyers is one I find in almost every grocery shop in my area. Breyers Gelato Indulgences introduced four new varieties this year and of these three have chocolate. I used the free coupon to get the most chocolatey variety -- Chocolate Fudge Truffle -- but we also tried the two other flavors using sales and other coupons. I'll briefly mention those other two flavors then focus on the main one. I was sent a coupon for a free container of Breyers Gelato in exchange for an honest review; no other form of compensation was received in exchange for this article.

Chocolate Hazelnut was spurned by the other members of my family so I had to jump on that delicious genade. To be fair, one of my family has tree nut allergies the other is just picky but I can be picky, too. I did get the one with allergies a different treat. It was delicious, too, the chocolate just a touch stronger than the hazelnut.


Peanut Butter Chocolate was loved by everyone in my family. I thought the peanut butter was stronger than the chocolate.


Now let's look at Breyers Gelato Indulgences Chocolate Fudge Truffle which my hubby joined me in testing out.


Hubby was so excited to try this new flavor that he couldn't wait for me to take the just-opened photo so we get it only in bowls. I hope you can see the chunks of chocolate that are on the top of the gelato; they are not throughout it. You should also be able to see ribbons of fudge inside of the gelato. Most frozen chocolate treats have little to no scent before you start to eat them, the cold just dampens the cocoa fragrance too much. This has a light cocoa scent from the gelato itself but not the chunks.  It starts to melt very quickly so don't wait too long to start eating it! The pieces of chocolate have the most intense flavor but they are also surprisingly sweet. The gelato is smooth and has a light cocoa flavor. The ribbons of fudge have a stronger chocolate flavor than the gelato but not as strong as the chocolate of chocolate. Three varieties of chocolate that blend very well together. Hubby agrees with my assessment. I held fast and made sure we didn't eat it all in one meal. There are supposed to be seven servings in this container... does anyone really make it last all seven?

Breyers gelato line is called Indulgences but gelato tends to be less calorie heavy than premier ice cream per ounce. Sure compared to the slow churned or no sugar added frozen treats I normally serve my family and myself these are Indulgent but they are also reasonably priced if you have coupons or look for sales. Everyone in my family loves gelato now. I'm so glad I don't have to go all the way back to Italy to find it now!

Do you like gelato? Leave a comment and let me know what flavor you like and what brands you enjoy!

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Chocolate Recalls July 3, 2016

Today's list of chocolate related recalls are related to previous problems such as missing ingredients, contamination of ingredients, and listeria. Read, research, and keep your family safe!

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Sunflower kernel recall impacts Nature Valley Protein Chewy Bars & Nature Valley Simple Nut Bars

General Mills announced today a voluntary national (sic) recall of four specific flavors of Nature Valley Protein Chewy Bars and Nature Valley Simple Nut Bars. The recall is being issued as part of sunflower kernel supplier SunOpta’s ongoing national recall for the potential presence of Listeria monocytogenes. General Mills has not received any direct consumer reports of confirmed illnesses related to this supplier issue.
The four flavors of Nature Valley bars that are part of the recall were distributed to retail establishments throughout the United States.  Consumers are asked to check their pantries and dispose of the products affected by this recall, regardless of when they were purchased or what date is on the package.

Consumers who have had to discard products covered by this recall may contact General Mills Consumer Relations at 1-866-896-4365 for a replacement.

This recall only affects four flavors of Nature Valley’s nearly 40 different products. Nature Valley’s other products are not affected by this recall.

“We know this is inconvenient for consumers who love these four flavors,” said Anton Vincent, President of General Mills Snacks Division.   “We promise they will return as soon as it is safe to do so.”

Other General Mills products that use sunflower kernels have not been impacted.  SunOpta announced the expansion of their sunflower kernel recall yesterday (June 1, 2016) which impacted these four specific flavors of Nature Valley bars.

This voluntary recall includes the following products currently in stores or consumers’ pantries:

Nature Valley Protein Chewy Bar -Honey, Peanut & Almond with Pumpkin Seeds - 5 count
Package UPC:  000-16000-47196

Nature Valley Protein Chewy Bar-Peanut, Almond & Dark Chocolate - 5 count
Package UPC: 000-16000-45724

Nature Valley Simple Nut Bar - Roasted Peanut & Honey - 4 count
Package UPC: 000-16000-46475

Nature Valley Simple Nut Bar - Roasted Peanut & Honey - 16 count
Package UPC: 000-16000-41308

Nature Valley Simple Nut Bar – Almond, Cashew & Sea Salt - 4 count
Package UPC: 000-16000-46474

Nature Valley Simple Nut Bar-Almond, Cashew & Sea Salt - 25 count
Package UPC: 000-16000-41301

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Recall For Undeclared Allergen Taken as Part of FDA's Safety Advisory Regarding Grain Craft Flour Recall

Please follow the above link to see all of the flavors involved in this recall. Two of them are chocolate even though our image only shows one of these!


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IKEA N.A. Services, LLC Issues Allergy Alert on Undeclared Milk, Almond, Hazelnut in the CHOKLAD MORK and CHOKLAD MORK 70% Dark Chocolate Bars, Net Wt. 3.5 oz.


IKEA recalls CHOKLAD MÖRK UPC Code 100293927003 and CHOKLAD MÖRK 70% UPC Code 1203080940009 Dark Chocolate Bars, Net Wt. 3.5 oz. are being recalled due to undeclared Milk, Hazelnuts and Almonds.



All Best Before Dates Of CHOKLAND MÖRK and CHOKLAND MÖRK 70% are being recalled due to undeclared Milk, Hazelnuts and Almond.

IKEA had samples of the dark chocolate bars analyzed and found them to contain milk, hazelnut and almond. Persons allergic to milk, hazelnuts and/or almonds may have a severe to life-threatening reaction after consuming the dark chocolate.

Products have been distributed Nationwide at IKEA retail stores and sold individually. There has been no complaints or reported incidents in the United States to date. IKEA of Sweden has had one reported complaint in Japan. The dark chocolate bars do carry an advisory statement, which identifies that the dark chocolate may contain milk and tree nuts.

Consumers are encouraged to return the affected products to the nearest IKEA store for a full refund, proof of purchase is not required. If you have any questions or concerns please call Customer Service toll free (24/7) at 1-888-966-4532 or IKEA.

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Eastland Food Corp. Issues Allergy Alert on Undeclared Milk in Euro Custard Cakes

Eastland Food Corp. (Columbia, Maryland) is announcing a limited voluntary recall of a single lot of Euro Custard Cake because it contains an undeclared milk ingredient. People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to milk run the risk of a serious or life threatening allergic reaction if they consume the affected Euro Custard Cake.
The impacted product is Euro Custard Cake with a best before of 5/25/2017 (UPC 8373724304), which consists of 12 cakes packaged together into a box (net quantity 7.20oz, 204g). The recalled product was distributed in Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Vermont, and West Virginia. No other states have been impacted.

The recall was initiated after routine sampling by New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets Food Inspectors and subsequent analysis by Food Laboratory personnel revealed the presence of an undeclared milk ingredient on the label.

No confirmed illness has been reported to date. Eastland Food has informed the FDA of our actions.

Consumers who have an allergy to milk and are in possession of the affected Euro Custard Cake lot (best before: 5/25/17) are encouraged to dispose of it, and contact the company for a refund. Consumers with questions may call Eastland Food at 410-381-0710, Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. EDT or by email to: quality@eastlandfood.com.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

S'Mores Any Time

I was chosen through the Tryazon program to be one of two people in Indiana to test out and write about the Sterno S'mores Kit. I've done a few other hosted parties with Tryazon and as with previous ones I am not expected to sell anything. I wouldn't do this if the company wanted me to sell their products, that's not what The Chocolate Cult is about, is it? No. The Chocolate Cult is about bringing chocolate and information to you, the reader's, attention so you can learn about movies, books, food, drinks, ideas, and warnings to protect your families and to make the best economic choices. Since you have to buy several chocolate bars, a box of graham crackers, and a bag of marshmallows, I opened up an invitation to a s'mores party for Saturday, June 25, 2016, at 7pm, to some of our neighbors and friends. A total of folks showed up. In exchange for testing the kit and hosting a party to get others to test it, Sterno sent me the kit along with an extra one to give away, a $15 Target gift card to buy supplies, and coupons for others to try out their own kits; no other forms of compensation was received in exchange for this honest article.

Everyone who came to the party -- 11 adults, 3 kids

The S'mores Marker basically came pre-setup, there wasn't much to do other than bend out the three folded in sporks on the S'MORES HEAT Cooking Fuel Suspension Frame that will hold the Roasting Safety Screen when the fuel canister, called S'MORES HEAT, is burning.


When you get more of the S'MORES HEAT two canisters come in a box as you can see here. Each canister burns for about an hour or 20 marshmallows worth of roasting if your family and friends give each other time to use it safety.


Beyond three parts I listed, there is a red S'mores Maker Serving Tray that you put the ingredients around the fuel when it is burning so easy to reach your graham crackers, candy bars, and marshmallows as well as two roasting forks.



I did a test run of using the maker two nights before the party to make sure I knew how it worked. The S"MORES HEAT is easy to open and close, the inverted screen does indeed put it out, but it takes about 30 minutes for the fuel canister to cool completely down. Inside the canister is a purple gel substance that heats up but does create flames. We noted that holding the marshmallows 1-2 inches above the mesh just did not work in terms of roasting. However holding it closer was a risky because if the marshmallow touched the safety screen it immediately set the marshmallow on fire. We decided we'd need a chair for someone because it took about 2-4 minutes to get the marshmallows as we each wanted.

Chairs weren't used by everyone.

Speaking of marshmallows I used a new type especially shaped for s'mores as well as four types of flat candy bars and two types of graham crackers. I wanted my guests to have options!

The fact that the marshmallows will not roast well very far above the safety screen is a big problem for this kit. I don't know if the screen needs to be a flatter item or what but frustrations when doing anything with fire can be deadly. Make sure you, the adult, is with your child if you let them use this with you. Guests were concerned about the plastic but it worked well, it went through the washer well. In upper 80 degree weather, the chocolate pieces on the plastic melted more than those just setting on plates in more direct sunlight.

Here are some images from our party. The lady who won the kit gave it to the family with the two girls. The girls were thrilled, the father, not so much... he knows he's going to be bothered for s'mores now "all the time."

1st brave group tries it out.
The two tables are ready for guests.
Over all this is a very cool device that helps the non-camper make s'mores almost anywhere outdoors. The risk of fire of any type is very low and as long as kids are overseen the risk of anything other than a marshmallow getting burnt is minor.

If you think this product seems like fun and you'd like to buy one, you can do so through Amazon and help support The Chocolate Cult as well since we get a tiny kick back from sales through the link through this product.

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