Crisis PR: Another Recall, This Time Killer Pringles

PR Crisis Pringles


Cars, kids toys, candy bars, and now even Pringles potato chips appear to be less safe than we once thought. In the news today the Food and Drug Administration recommended that Proctor & Gamble recall some of its products.

According to the reports, the chips contain hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP) which was produced by Basic Food Flavors, Inc. That company issued a recall last week after finding Salmonella in their equipment.

Who thinks about Salmonella in potato chips? We had all better now it appears. Killer potato chips, only in the 21st Century.

Affected Pringles chipsThe really bad news is, Pringles is just one of many popular food products that Basic Food Flavors HVP is used in. Many thousands of products may be affected by this news outside of chipdom. Used as a flanor enhancer, HVP is used in soups, sauces, chilis, stews, hot dogs, gravy, seasoned snack foods, dips, dressings, and you name it.

FDA spokespeople said they expect the recall to get larger over the next several days. However, many of the products which contain HVP actually have a secondary processing step (kill step) after the HVP is added which kills off Salmonella. According to the reports from the FDA, the agency was tipped about the problem at Basic Food and later found what is known as a Tennessee strain of the bacteria on the equipment there.

The exact Pringles items being recalled are listed on their site and below. Please note, no other Pringles products are implicated in this recall and there have been no reported cases of Salmanella due to any of these products as of yet.

  • Pringles Restaurant Cravers Cheeseburger, Super Stack Canister, 181 grams – UPC Code 37000 26936, Best Buy Dates 02/2011 and 04/2011.
  • Pringles Family Faves Taco Night, Super Stack Canister, 181 gram – UPC Code 37000 26773, Best Buy Dates 03/2011 –
    04/2011 and 05/2011

Only those products listed, and with the Best Buy Dates indicated are in question according to Pringles. They can be identified by the Best Buy Dates on the bottom of the cannisters. The recall list for other Basic Food Flavors, Inc. products is far to vast to list here, but here is the PDF via their site.

We think that Porter Novelli, Pringles PR agency may just have a super busy week ahead of them.

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