MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Eggo whole wheat waffles are the latest food to be involved in a recall.

They are being recalled in about 25 states because of fears they could be contaminated with listeria. Kellogg made the announcement, and they aren’t alone.

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There have been about 30 food recalls across the country just this month. So why are we hearing about more food recalls than in the past? Good Question.

It’s definitely food for thought, because recalls have become almost a daily occurrence.

“They don’t want to harm people. At least most of them don’t,” Ted Labuza said.

Labuza is a professor of food science and engineering at the University of Minnesota. He said companies often do voluntary recalls when they find something that could cause health problems for consumers. And over the years, Labuza said their methodology has gotten better.

“A good company is going to be doing environmental samples every day,” Labuza said.

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Labuza said the No. 1 reason for a recall would be allergens, such as the detection of peanut dust or milk powder. No. 2 is pathogens. Kellogg’s said their whole wheat Eggo waffles were recalled because of Listeria concerns.

“Listeria is a very hearty organism. It can grow in refrigerated conditions where the other pathogens don’t,” Labuza said.

Labuza said listeria is dangerous because it can attack all organs in the body.

“Under the new Food Safety Modernization Act, the FDA has the authority to demand a recall,” Labuza said.

Labuza said the FDA has recall authority, especially if it is a Class 1 case – meaning the contaminated food could cause serious health problems. And as part of the FSMA Act, it’s required that news outlets are made aware of any food recalls. Which is why you may be noticing more of these types of headlines.

Labuza said that in the majority of food recall cases, no one is hurt by the contaminated products. And quite often, companies err on the side of caution.

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But consumers are asked to definitely get rid of any food that may be part of a recall, in order to keep you and your family safe.

John Lauritsen