A Crumb Cake Sold At Whole Foods Is Being Recalled Over Allergy Risks

Food manufacturers take painstaking steps to ensure that their products remain safe and fresh to eat when they hit supermarket shelves. This means ensuring that foods are stored, sealed, and labeled correctly. According to FARE (Food Allergy Research and Education), about 32 million Americans have some food-related allergy — about one in every 10 adults and one in every 13 children. They can experience anything from hives to trouble breathing, even if they ingest a small amount of the ingredient they're allergic to. To this part of the population, reading food labels becomes second nature to preserve their health.

The Food Industry Association notes that over 200,000 people end up in the emergency room each year due to either accidentally ingesting something they are allergic to or because of undeclared allergens (labels that unintentionally omit certain ingredients). The website notes that in 2020, half of all USDA food recalls resulted from mislabeled foods. 

FARE points out that the most common and severe food allergic reactions are caused by milk, eggs, nuts, wheat, soy products, and fish or shellfish. While food manufacturers take this issue extremely seriously, mistakes occur, as seen in a recent recall relating to the popular grocery chain Whole Foods.

Undeclared nuts in crumb cake

The USDA reports that Boston Baking, Inc. recalled its Mini Cinnamon Crumb Cakes (confections only sold at Whole Foods) because they may contain pecans, but the labels did not include the ingredient. The recall only affects those cakes sold in six eastern states: Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, New Jersey, and New York. Whole Foods has removed the product from its shelves, but the USDA wishes anyone who may have purchased the cakes and has a pecan allergy not to consume them and that the store will refund them the item's price. Fortunately, there have been no illnesses or hospitalizations reported in relation to the recall. If there is any doubt that any given person has an affected cake in their possession, the USDA notes that they should look for a printed "packed on" date of October 17, 2022 to November 10, 2022, and a printed "sell by" date of October 22, 2022 to November 15, 2022. The website also lists the packages' UPC codes.

The Miami Herald reports that it was not Boston Baking, Inc. that was alerted to the issue but a Whole Foods team member with a sharp eye. The employee noticed that a particular batch of crumb cakes in the store didn't have pecans listed on the label and alerted the proper people. Thanks to their actions, one or many people were likely saved from a potentially disastrous health scare.