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An Abundance Of Caution Prompts Slim-Fast Recall

Posted by Jane Akre
Friday, December 04, 2009 7:46 PM EST
Category: Protecting Your Family
Tags: Slim-Fast, Diet, Meal Replacement, Unilever, FDA Recall, Bacterial Contamination, Foodborne Illness

Slim-Fast ready to drink cans are recalled after a bacterial contamination.

Voluntary Recall


Slim-Fast cans recalled


IMAGE SOURCE: Slim- Fast Web site/ image of ad/Sky Shopping Web site/ image of can

All Slim-Fast Ready-to-Drink (RTD) cans are being recalled because of a possible bacterial contamination.

Unilever United States, Inc. based in Englewood, New Jersey, issued the voluntary recall in cooperation with the Food and Drug Administration Friday.

The bacteria – Bacillus cereus, is a micro-organism which may cause diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. The products were sold in stores nationwide, the company says in a statement.

Unilever says the possibility of getting sick is remote and it issued the recall “out of an abundance of caution.”

The recall does not affect powdered shakes, or meal and snack bars.

Look for individual or packaged cans in cardboard cartons containing four, six, or 12-can packages marked 11 fluid ounces each.

The recalled was initiated after the company conducted quality testing on Slim-Fast RTD products in cans.

The company says it is in the process of identifying and correcting the production issue and is alerting distribution centers, and retail outlets. Production will be resumed when the issue is corrected, the company says.

Call the company for a full refund at 800-896-9479, opened M-F until 6 p.m. EST.

The list of products includes Slim-Fast Ready-to-Drink 3-2-1- French Vanilla, Rich Chocolate, and Milk Chocolate. #


Posted by Jan Boyle
Monday, December 07, 2009 4:37 PM EST

I've noticed a metallic taste in pretty much every Slim Fast can I've ever had, but i would never expected any biological issues

Anonymous User
Posted by ST
Wednesday, December 09, 2009 4:28 AM EST

Everyone needs to know that natural microorganisms have been used for years on our food crops: ie biopesticides, bioinsecticides, biofungicides, biomicodides etc. Bacillus cereus is amonst those. The following information was taken from one United States Patent only [US Patent 5869042 - Methods for controlling above-ground plant diseases using antibiotic-producing bacillus sp. ATCC 55608 or 55609]. There are MANY OTHERS.

Naturally-occurring fungicidal bacterial strains are relatively uncommon. Screening programs have identified certain Bacillus sp. (B. sp. includes B. subtilis, B. cereus, B. mycodies, B. anthracis and B. thuringiensis) strains which exhibit antifungal activity. (See, e.g., Stabb et al. (1990) Applied Environ. Microbiol. 60(12):4404-4412). These strains have been shown to produce zwittermicin-A and/or "antibiotic B," now known as kanosamine (Milner et al. (1996) Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 62:3061-3065), two antibiotic agents which are effective against the soil borne disease "damping-off" caused by Phytophthora medicaginis, Phytophthora nicotianae, Phytophthora aphanidermatum or Sclerotinia minor. (See, Stabb et al., supra).

Zwittermicin A is a water-soluble, acid-stable linear aminopolyol molecule. (See, He et al. (1994) Tetra. Lett. 35(16):2499-2502). U.S. Pat. No. 5,049,379 to Handelsman et al. describes how zwittermicin A-producing B. cereus can be used to control the below-ground seedling diseases "root rot" and "damping off" in alfalfa and soybean. When the seed is coated with zwittermicin-A produced by B. cereus ATCC 53522, the pathogenic activity of the root rot fungus is inhibited. Similarly, application of spore-based formulations of certain B. cereus strains to soybean seeds or the soil surrounding the seeds has been shown to improve soybean yield at field sites. (See, Osburne et al. (1995) Am. Phytophathol. Soc. 79(6): 551-556).

Smith et al. (1993) Plant Disease 77(2):139-142 report that the activity of the soil-borne fungus, Pythium aphandiermatum, that causes cottony cucumber leak can be suppressed using zwittermicin-producing B. cereus strain UW85. Liefert et al. (1995) J. Appl. Bacteriol. 78:97-108 report the production of anti-Botrytis and anti-Alternaria brassicicola antibiotics by two Bacillus strains, B. subtilis CL27 and B. pumilis CL45. The whole broth and cell-free filtrates were active against Botrytis and Alternaria in in vitro tests and were active against Botrytis in in vivo small plants tests on Astilbe. The authors identified three antibiotics produced by the B. subtilis strain CL27, two of which were thought to be peptides and one non-peptide. Unlike the bacterial strains of the present invention, the antibiotics produced by the B. pumilis strain CL45 demonstrated only in vitro activity, no in vivo activity was demonstrated.

Posted by Jim Purdy
Monday, January 04, 2010 1:57 AM EST

The bacterial contamination occurred much earlier than Slim-Fast and Unilever are admitting.

My illness occurred with Slim-Fast products that I purchased through Amazon before October, and I have documentation of the purchase dates. In total, I have records from Amazon of approximately $900 of purchases.

I was a very loyal Slim-Fast customer, but I will never again buy anything from them.

This whole episode has been handled as a cover-up, not as a serious attempt to correct the problem.

Comments for this article are closed.

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