Chocolate Recall: 4 Million Pounds of Chocolate Recalled Due to Salmonella

By: Stephanie Bontorin | Last updated: Jul 09, 2024

A widespread recall has been issued due to a potential salmonella outbreak. On May 3, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recalled 4,383,201 pounds of chocolate and candy.

The items are made by Clasen Quality Chocolate in Madison, Wisconsin and are sold throughout California, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Utah and Washington—time to check your pantry and see if you have accidentally purchased any of the contaminated items.

A Little About Recalls

For most recalls, the company issuing the order doesn’t think anyone will become gravely ill.

The entry sign for the Food and Drug Administration headquarters

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However, the risk of someone ingesting a contaminated item is too high to take so large recalls are sometimes necessary.

Items Were Possibly Contaminated With Salmonella

The chocolate and candy were potentially contaminated with salmonella, a type of bacteria that can cause foodborne illnesses, also known as food poisoning.

Three workers wearing full PPE work at various stations inside of a chocolate factory

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It’s essential to keep up with the news and watch out for recalls like these. Usually, large manufacturers and food production companies have safeguards to catch the contamination before the items are sent out. But sometimes, a large recall must be initiated.

What Are the Symptoms of Salmonella?

The common symptoms of salmonella poisoning are diarrhea, abdominal cramps, fever, chills, headache, nausea, and vomiting within the first three days of ingesting the contaminated food.

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In some rare cases, the symptoms can last up to seven days. By then, a person feeling ill for so long should certainly seek medical attention.

Check Your Pantry for Chocolate and Candy

The items vary wildly in the product description and batch code.

Five small chocolates in a purple box

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Be sure to check the item and number that has been recalled and confirm the code information. If any of the items match the recalled numbers, you can return the item to their place of purchase for a full refund.

Check the Recalled Product Numbers

The items range from chocolate bars to caramel drops and chocolate baking wafers.

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Source: Wikipedia

A full list of the recalled items can be found on the Food and Drug Administration website.


Is Contracting Salmonella Poisoning Common?

Salmonella poisoning is actually quite common; it’s one of the leading causes of food poisoning. Thankfully, most symptoms are quite mild and the affected person can return to their normal activities in just a few days.

Sick woman takes her own temperature while sitting on the couch

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that each year in the U.S., there are about 1.35 million cases of salmonellosis.


Few Salmonella Cases Require Hospitalization

In rare cases, the bacteria causes such extreme diarrhea and dehydration that a person might need to be hospitalized to replenish fluids.

A faceless person lies in a hospital bed

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Salmonella can also be contagious and easily spread from person to person. Even if a person doesn’t require medical attention, they should self-quarantine.


How Many People Are Hospitalized Each Year

Out of the 1.35 million cases of salmonellosis contracted by Americans each year, about 26,500 of those lead to hospitalizations.

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Around 420 deaths are recorded nationwide each year, so it’s quite rare to succumb to the illness.


Food Poisoning Is on the Rise

Unfortunately, some food trends are happening right now that have caused the number of people falling ill with salmonella poisoning every year to increase.

Three glass bottles of milk on the ground outside in the daytime.

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Many people have begun to consume raw milk for its health benefits. Usually, milk sold in grocery stores is pasteurized, which means that it has been heated to a certain temperature to kill any harmful bacteria. However, online health gurus and the carnivore fad have made more people sick from ingesting raw milk.


Recent Recalls on Coffee Products

Last week, a massive coffee retailer was forced to recall nearly 300 different types of canned coffee products due to a risk of botulism.

A black can of coffee on a kitchen counter with a bag of cocoa in the background and a package of cookies in the foreground

Source: @craftcoffeenews/X

Botulism is a type of bacteria that can grow in canned and jarred items. It’s the reason why leaving an opened tin can of food in the refrigerator is unsafe and not recommended by health professionals.


No Noted Illnesses From the Chocolate Yet

Thankfully, no notable illnesses have been recorded from the Clasen Quality Chocolate recall yet.

A chocolate bar on a dark surface

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Usually, manufacturers and the FDA notice packaging issues immediately, which calls attention to an item possibly being contaminated. In many cases, the food produced was perfectly safe, but it’s better to err on the side of caution.