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Multi-state salad dressing recall issued because of a bizarre contaminant

Published Feb 16th, 2021 12:06PM EST
food recall
Image: zukamilov/Adobe

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  • A salad dressing that was distributed across multiple U.S. states has now been recalled after the manufacturer realized there might be fish in it.
  • Individuals with allergies to fish — specifically anchovies — are at high risk of a severe reaction if they consume the product.
  • Over 200 cases of the salad dressing were sold to locations across Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Utah.

Food recalls can happen for any number of reasons, but many times they are issued due to undeclared allergens. It can be something as simple as not having milk or nuts listed on the label, leaving people with allergies to those products unaware that they may be harmed if they consume it. That’s the case with a new recall for Brite Harbor Caesar Dressing & Dip.

According to the recall bulletin issued by the company and published by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the salad dressing may contain fish. More specifically, the recall states that the product contains anchovies, and anyone with an allergy to anchovies may put themselves at serious risk if they consume it without realizing what it contains.

How did fish make it into salad dressing? Some salad dressing does indeed use fish as an ingredient, but when the wrong labels are used in the packaging process it leaves consumers unaware of what it contains. Near the bottom of the recall bulletin, it is noted that a “packaging error” was responsible and that the wrong type of labeling was used. The front of the packages are labeled as Caesar dressing, but the back says it contains bleu cheese dressing and doesn’t list anchovies as an ingredient. The company is now recalling 225 cases of the salad dressing, which was sold in pouches, similar to those you might grab from a salad bar.

The product was distributed to “a limited number of customers” in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Utah, and the company says that all of the buyers have been notified. That’s great, but it’s always a good idea to exercise caution in these cases, as you never know how promptly a restaurant or retailer will act.

The company notes:

Litehouse took this action proactively because people who are sensitive or have allergies to anchovies could be at risk of an adverse reaction if they consume this product. No reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of this product have been reported. Anyone concerned about a reaction should contact a healthcare provider.

If you have any of this salad dressing it’s best to return it, even if you don’t have an allergy to anchovies. Any time a product ends up in the wrong packaging, you have to wonder what else might have gone wrong during the manufacturing and packaging process, so go ahead and return it for a refund or, if the cost isn’t a concern, toss it.