Kraft has announced that the company is because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. The company issued a press release regarding the outbreak yesterday detailing the specifics of the recall, and stated:
The potential for contamination was noted after testing by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that detected the presence of Salmonella in some packages of Baker’s Premium White Chocolate Baking Squares (6 oz.). The company is aggressively investigating the source of the problem.
Products with best when used by dates of 31 MAR 2008 XCZ, 01 APR 2008 XCZ, 02 APR 2008 XCZ, and 03 APR 2008 XCZ are all subject to recall.
Salmonella is one of the most common enteric (intestinal) infections in the United States. Salmonellosis – the disease caused by Salmonella – is the second most common bacterial foodborne illness after Campylobacter infection. It is estimated that 1.4 million cases of salmonellosis occur each year in the U.S.; 95 percent of those cases are related to foodborne causes.
Approximately 220 of each 1000 cases result in hospitalization and eight of every 1000 cases result in death. About 500 to 1,000 deaths – 31 percent of all food-related deaths – are caused by Salmonella infections each year. Salmonellosis is more common in the warmer months of the year.
Salmonella infection occurs when bacteria are ingested, typically from food derived from infected animals, but infection can also occur by ingesting the feces of an infected animal or person. Food sources include raw or undercooked eggs/egg products, raw milk or raw milk products, contaminated water, meat and meat products, and poultry. Raw fruits and vegetables contaminated during slicing have been implicated in several foodborne outbreaks, as have foods contaminated by food handlers who did not adhere to proper hygienic standards and practice proper handwashing techniques.