Two separate recalls were issued recently for several lots of the Continental Mills Buttermilk Pancake and Waffle Mix. The first recall includes two lots of Kroger Buttermilk Pancake and Waffle Mix that bear best-by dates of September 1 and 2, 2023. This mix was distributed to Kroger stores in Virginia, Florida, Illinois, Arkansas, Indiana, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, West Virginia, Texas, South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Michigan and Ohio.
Less than 24 hours later, the same recall was issued for a lot of Great Value Buttermilk Pancake and Waffle Mix with a best-by date of September 1, 2023, that was distributed to Walmart stores throughout the country.
The recall was issued after “fragments from a cable used to clear the processing line were discovered in a limited amount of product.”
Officials say they have yet to receive any reports of injuries stemming from the recalled mix, and the company continues to work to ensure the affected product is pulled from the marketplace. People who already have these mixes at home should throw them away or return them to the store to receive a replacement from a safer a batch or a refund.
The director of food safety research and testing at Consumer Reports, Dr. James E. Rogers, explained: “Pieces of conveyor belts, plastic-coated cables, and other parts of machinery can contaminate food if they fail during the packaging and manufacturing process.”
Unfortunately, pieces of machinery are just one of the many things that consumers need to worry about when they consume processed food. Studies carried out in the last few years have shown that people who consume a lot of ultra-processed foods have a greater likelihood of developing heart disease and dying sooner than people who consume foods in their original form.
For example, a pair of studies published in the BMJ in 2019 provided new evidence of some of the health risks that were already known about ultra-processed foods. One of them linked eating more than four servings a day of ultra-processed food with a 62 percent greater risk of premature death compared to consuming little or no processed foods. The other study found that every 10 percentage-point increase in the share of a person's diet that was made up of ultra-processed food was tied to a greater than 10 percent higher risk of cardiovascular disease.
Although the studies were not designed to identify how these types of foods cause health problems and premature death, it is believed that the chemical additives that they contain and the industrial processing itself change the food's cellular structure in a way that makes it damaging to human health.
The study into the link between ultra-processed food and mortality also found that those who ate more than five servings of these foods per day, on average, had a greater likelihood of conditions such as elevated cholesterol, depression, diabetes, cancer, obesity and high blood pressure.
Meanwhile the study that looked at the link between ultra-processed food and cardiovascular disease involved more than 105,000 adults and found that those who consumed the most processed foods were 13 percent more likely to have coronary heart disease, 12 percent more likely to have cardiovascular disease, and 11 percent more likely to have cerebrovascular disease.
Although it’s hard to beat the convenience of processed foods like pancake mix, it does not take much time or effort to whip up your own pancakes out of healthier ingredients like organic oats, bananas, eggs, and almond milk or Greek yogurt – no flour needed, which is great news given the current uncertainty over the world’s flour supply. In addition to helping you avoid the health dangers of processed foods, homemade pancakes with natural ingredients are also more filling than the processed, white flour variety.
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