Earlier this month, containers of Almond Breeze Almond Milk were recalled because of cross contamination. HP Hood LLC, Blue Diamond’s parent company, recalled over 140,000 ½ gallon containers of vanilla almond milk across 28 states.
The announcement stated that the said almond milk may contain trace amounts of cow’s milk (dairy). Blue Diamond told customer’s to identify the potentially contaminated milk by the use-by-date, which is September 2, 2018.
The recall announcement for this recall was around August 1, 2018. As parents know, milk goes very quickly in our houses. I believe that Hood should have absolutely been on top of this mistake sooner than they were. Milk that has a use-by-date in September is practically gone in Late-July, August, especially when we have already started to see October use-by-dates. Hood was way too slow on this one and that’s dangerous and irresponsible.
For a parent of a child a with severe food allergies, this “mistake” is extremely troubling because it can be life threatening. Fortunately for our family, we had not used our cartons yet, and we were able to dispose of the potentially contaminated cartons.
My daughter is extremely allergic to dairy. Any contact or ingestion of dairy could cause her to go into anaphylactic shock. We got lucky because if my daughter had drunk that milk, it could have been a terrible situation.
We choose to drink Almond Breeze’s Almond Milk as an alternative to cow’s milk because it’s supposed to be safe and nutritious. As parents, we rely on food companies to handle these sensitive issues, such as food cross contamination, with extreme care and sensitivity. I believe that in this particular situation, Hood dropped the ball, and that is very scary.
We are parents, but we are also consumers. We put our trust in food manufactures to have high standards, especially with products that we use to nourish our children.
I read that out of all of the Almond Breeze Almond Milk sold each year, this recall only made up about 0.8% of total production each year. While I can acknowledge that 0.8% is a relatively small number, it does not excuse the fact that their mistake could have resulted in the administration of an EpiPen on my 3 year old, or something far worse.
I believe that all food producers, especially those who promote their foods to be allergen free, need to make sure that these types of mistakes don’t happen, and if they do to be more on top of immediately alerting customers.
My confidence in Blue Diamond’s Almond Breeze has been dashed, and we have already switched brands. I know to a large company like Hood or Blue Diamond a recall of 0.8% of one of their many products seems insignificant, but to a family who has a child with severe food allergies, the consequences of their mistake could have been absolutely devastating.