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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Question And Answer Slim-Fast Recall By Unilever United States, Inc.

Question and answer series on recall of all Slim-Fast ready-to-drink products in cans  by Unilever due to the risk of contamination with Bacillus cereus
What is Bacillus cereus?
Bacillus cereus is a bacterium that can cause foodborne illness.
What are the symptoms of illness caused by Bacillus cereus?
Bacillus cereus can cause two types of foodborne illness -- a diarrheal illness and a vomiting illness.

  • Symptoms of Bacillus cereus diarrheal illness include watery diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and pain beginning six to 15 hours after consumption of contaminated food. Nausea may accompany these symptoms, but vomiting rarely occurs. Symptoms for the diarrheal illness typically persist for 24 hours.
  • Symptoms of Bacillus cereus vomiting type of illness include nausea and vomiting within 30 minutes to six hours after consumption of contaminated foods. Occasionally, abdominal cramps and/or diarrhea may also occur. Duration of the symptoms for the vomiting type of illness is generally less than 24 hours.
  • More information on Bacillus cereus and the illness it causes is available at this link to FDA's Bad Bug Book1.
How can I tell if the product I have is the same as the product under recall?
The recalled products are packaged in paperboard cartons and contain 4, 6 or 12 steel cans that are labeled as containing 11 FL OZ (325 mL) each. Individual cans are also sold in certain retail outlets. The recall involves all Slim-Fast ready-to-drink products in cans, regardless of flavor, Best-By date, lot code, or UPC number. A listing of all recalled Slim-Fast ready-to-drink products in cans and a photograph of a recalled product are attached to the firm's press release, which is available on the FDA's Safety Alerts Page2.
Are all Slim-Fast products affected by this recall?
No. Only Slim-Fast ready-to-drink products in cans are affected by this recall.
I recently drank some of the recalled product and feel sick. What should I do?
If you are experiencing symptoms described above and have recently ingested some of the recalled product, FDA advises that you see a doctor.
I have some of the recalled product in my home. What should I do with it?
Consumers who have any of the recalled products on hand should throw them away immediately.
I drank some of the recalled product but did not get sick. Can I continue to drink the product I have on hand?
No. The product is under voluntary recall and consumers should not drink any of the recalled Slim-Fast products.
I feel sick but haven't drunk any of the recalled product for several days. Could it be the product that made me sick?
Highly unlikely. The onset of symptoms of Bacillus cereus illness normally occurs within a 1/2 hour to 15 hours after a contaminated food product has been consumed, but, if you are unsure, then you should see a doctor.
What is the FDA doing about this recall?
FDA is investigating at the processing plant where the recalled products were manufactured, and working directly with the company to ensure that all suspect products are removed from the marketplace and that the public and the media are informed about this product recall and the potential risk to consumers.
Can I get my money back for recalled product I have already purchased?
Unilever has advised customers to call 1-800-896-9479 for a full refund.

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