Special Report

29 Food Recalls That Poisoned the Most People

Cheyenne Buckingham, John Harrington

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19. Foster Farms
> No. of cases: 634
> No. of deaths: 0

Chicken produced by Foster Farms caused a 17-month-long outbreak of salmonella in 29 states and Puerto Rico. The first sign of the outbreak appeared in March 2013 and by July 2014, a total of 634 people were affected by the pathogen, among them about 241 were hospitalized.

Source: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration / Flickr

18. Bon Vivant
> No. of cases: 1
> No. of deaths: 1

In 1971, a can of Bon Vivant vichyssoise soup was tainted with botulism that killed a banker from New York and sickened his wife. In July 1971, Bon Vivant Inc. voluntarily recalled 6,444 cans of the product. Botulism results from a toxin derived from a bacteria that can contaminate foods during the canning process.

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17. Odwalla
> No. of cases: 65+
> No. of deaths: 1

Odwalla Inc. was forced to recall its unpasteurized apple juice following an E.coli outbreak in 1996. More than 65 people in the western United States and British Columbia were sickened by the beverage, and one child died. The Half Moon Bay, California-based company recalled the juice from its 4,000 distributors and shut down its apple juice and carrot juice production facilities in California. Odwalla was held criminally responsible for the outbreak and pled guilty to 16 federal charges and paid a $1.5 million fine. The company was eventually bought by Coca-Cola.

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16. Cargill
> No. of cases: 75
> No. of deaths: 1

Cargill Meat Solutions Corporation in Springdale, Arkansas, had not just one, but two outbreaks of salmonella in 2011. The first outbreak occurred in August 2011, when one person died and another 75 became ill after consuming Cargill’s ground turkey. The company had to recall nearly 36 million pounds of meat. Less than a month later, the same strain of the foodborne illness was found again, leading to a recall of an additional 185,000 pounds of ground turkey.

Source: Olgaorly / iStock

15. Carica de Campeche Farm
> No. of cases: 220
> No. of deaths: 1

Five different strains of salmonella were found in papayas grown on a farm in Tenabo, Campeche, Mexico, in 2017. They infected 220 people in 23 states over a five-month span. One person in New York City died and 68 were hospitalized in other parts of the country. Three separate companies — Grande Produce, Agroson’s LLC, and Freshtex Produce — announced recalls of papayas.