Certain allergens have to be declared on food labels. When they are not, the food may have to be recalled because of the threat that it poses to people who suffer an allergy to a particular ingredient. One example of this is a recent recall by Zenner’s Quality Meat Products, Inc. of their bratwurst because it had an undeclared allergen in it. This recall was enacted on May 24, 2012 and affects 3,660 pounds of bratwurst.
The bratwursts affected are in 2.25 lb. packages and have the label “Zenner’s Smoked Brotwurst” and a sell by date of 7/17/12. They contain soy protein, which is known to cause severe allergic reactions in some individuals. There is no labeling that indicates that it contains this allergen. There have been no reports of any injuries or reactions as a result of the undeclared allergen as of yet.
Part of the reason that there are standards for food labeling is specifically because of allergies. People with hypersensitivity to nuts, wheat, dairy, soy and other allergens can have life-threatening reactions. Some of them can end up experiencing what is called anaphylaxis. This condition can come on within seconds and can involve a sudden drop in blood pressure and difficulty breathing. It is often fatal if not treated.
The bratwurst case is not unique. There are other examples of recalled food products that were recalled because of undeclared allergens. On the same day, Mt. Airy Meat Center, located in Mt. Airy, NC, had to recall 100 pounds of chicken breast that contained wheat that was not declared. Because of the significant risks to people’s health—and even their lives—posed by undeclared allergies, manufacturers and government agencies want to get these products off of the market immediately. They may be perfectly safe for some people but potentially deadly to others.
When there are allergens in food, you have to be informed of it on the nutritional information for that particular food item. If you were not and if you suffered a severe allergic reaction—or another effect—because of it, you may want to contact an attorney about the matter. Depending upon what happened, they may be able to put together a lawsuit so that you can go after the manufacturer for damages and for your pain and suffering. Food allergies can take lives and there’s no reason that anyone should be at risk of being injured by something that was supposed to have been declared in the ingredients for a product, but was not.