Undeclared Sulfites Cause Product Recalls

Beef and Pork Recalls

In May 22, 2009 A company in Gardena, California, named Paisano Meat, Inc., voluntarily recalling around 350,000 pounds of beef and pork products. The Beef and Pork products were believed to possibly contain undeclared sulfites. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). People who are sensitive to Sulfites can be at real risk due to the fact that Sulfites can cause adverse effects in some highly sensitive people. Although only one out of a hundred people is sulfite-sensitive, and that 5 percent of those who have asthma, are also at risk of suffering an adverse reaction to the substance.

All to often people do not know or understand the complications of such an event. To people who have sensitivities to certain substances the importance of staying on top of labeling is crucial. The following are some things for you to be aware of in case someone is having a reaction.

Signs To Watch For

There are signs of an allergic reaction you can watch for. The most common sites are the mouth (swelling of the lips), digestive tract (stomach cramps, vomiting, diarrhea), skin (hives, rashes or eczema), and the airways (wheezing or breathing problems). People with allergies must avoid the offending foods altogether.

I have a food allergy to salad dressing, rather the preservative in it. I react as though I have food poisoning, often times so sick I can not move from rest room floor. The best way to describe it is like severe food poisoning. Although my problem is not nearly as bad as some who's air way is completely compromised still an allergic reaction can be life threatening. If I ingested enough of the preservative I have my serious doubts that I would be able to survive the aftermath of the effects my body will go through trying to rid my system of the invading culprit.I can also have a mild reaction like the discomfort of bad heart burn after I eat certain items.

Be aware of the fact that some people have very severe reaction to certain allergens and check the chart below if you suspect someone is having a bad allergic reaction to something do not wait call 911 right away. Some people do not even know they have an allergy until it is to late. I myself have thrown out many bottles of sauces as well as dressings only to discover in my late 20's that I have a food preservative allergy that is quit serious and very painful. I am always cautious and very aware of the possibility of repeat of a very bad episode that I never wish to ever relive again.

One of the worst aspects of a food preservative allergy is that many fast foods have this ingredients in them as well and we really do not think about it as a source of discomfort for our system.Oddly enough most Chinese food restaurants were attacked for using Mono-sodium Glutamate which is a well know severe allergen to many people but since Chinese food restaurants no longer use a high amount of the substance you do not hear much about it any more. What most people don't realize is most all other fast food restaurants use a high amount of this offensive substance. One of the worst is a well know chicken restaurant so if you feel any discomfort after ingesting food from here it is highly likely you have the allergy to the MSG in most all their food. If you look on labels you will find that a lot of products from the grocery store have this ingredient if when you eat these products you have any of the named reactions that may be one of your allergies that you don't even realize.

Allergic Reactions Signs to Watch For


Of all the food additives for which FDA has received adverse reaction reports, the ones that most closely resemble true allergens are sulfur-based preservatives. Sulfites are used primarily as antioxidants to prevent or reduce discoloration of light-colored fruits and vegetables, such as dried apples and potatoes, and to inhibit the growth of microorganisms in fermented foods such as wine.

Though most people don't have a problem with sulfites, they are a hazard of unpredictable severity to people, particularly asthmatics, who are sensitive to these substances. FDA uses the term "allergic-type responses" to describe the range of symptoms suffered by these individuals after eating sulfite-treated foods. Responses range from mild to life-threatening.

FDA's sulfite specialists say scientists, at this time, are not sure how the body reacts to sulfites. To help sulfite-sensitive people avoid problems, FDA requires the presence of sulfites in processed foods to be declared on the label, and prohibits the use of sulfites on fresh produce intended to be sold or served raw to consumers (see "A Fresh Look at Food Preservative" in the October 1993 FDA Consumer).

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Comments 4 comments

fortunerep profile image

fortunerep 7 years ago from North Carolina

Is this the same as being allergic to sulfur?


Envoy profile image

Envoy 7 years ago from USA Author

I was just about to post when you commented perfect timing lol :)

nicolerkilpatrick profile image

nicolerkilpatrick 5 years ago

Great hub, I like it, Thanks for sharing.

Envoy profile image

Envoy 5 years ago from USA Author

You are very welcome :)

Have a great day!

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