Update: The recall has spread to several baking mixes and other snack chips and products.
- Three brands of potato chips have initiated product recalls due to potential salmonella contamination of the powdered milk used in their seasoning blends, Food Safety News reported.
- Dieffenbach's did not name its powdered milk supplier, but the two Herr Foods chip brands said Chesapeake Spice Co. was their secondary supplier.
- Powdered milk has been the culprit ingredient in more than a dozen companies' product recalls since Dec. 7. Valley Milk Products LLC is another supplier implicated in some of these recalls.
In several of these cases, lab tests have not confirmed the presence of salmonella, but the companies have pulled these products as a precaution. Ingredient suppliers notified the manufacturers of the potentially contaminated powdered milk ingredient, and manufacturers took the next and arguably safest step.
Like other dairy products, powdered milk has a high microbial load. This leaves the ingredient — and any products that contain it — susceptible to contamination by bacterial pathogens.
Powdered milk can extend the shelf life of cow's milk and give it more functionality for a wider range of food and beverage applications. However, if the ingredient isn't properly managed at each level of the supply chain, this broadens the opportunity for contamination in a larger amount of products and product categories.