Target's Favorite Day Caramels Are Being Recalled For Undeclared Allergens

Because food allergens can cause such serious, even life-threatening, reactions, the Food & Drug Administration requires that packaged foods and beverages list their ingredients. In addition, products that contain allergens on the FDA's list of the top nine food allergens must list the allergen and the food source for that allergen. The top nine list includes: soybeans, sesame, milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, and wheat.

In addition to labeling items that manufacturers know contain allergens, many manufacturers include voluntary allergen advisory statements, indicating the possibility of cross-contamination from allergens used in manufacturing or packaging other food items. 

The FDA points out those advisory statements are "not to be used instead of current good manufacturing practices," meaning that simply issuing a blanket advisory is no substitute for making every effort to keep known allergens out of products that don't carry the allergen warning.

Mistakes happen, of course, and when it is discovered that a food may contain an undeclared allergen, the common practice is to issue a voluntary recall, which is exactly what Target and Silvestri Sweets did this week after a Valentine's Day candy was found to possibly contain one of those top nine allergens, one not listed on the packaging.

One of Target's Favorite Day caramels may contain pecans

Silvestri Sweets issued a voluntary recall of its Favorite Day Valentine's Milk Chocolate Covered Caramels with Nonpareils (a house brand sold at Target stores) on February 14, according to the FDA. The reason for the recall is that it was discovered the candy may contain pecans, which can cause serious, even fatal reactions in people allergic to tree nuts.

The voluntary recall affects lot number 33822, which carries a best-by date of December 7, 2023. In addition to the FDA's notification of the recall, it's also listed on Target's website, which encourages customers who've purchased the recalled product in stores to contact Target Guest Relations at 1-800-440-0680. Customers who bought the recalled product online should reach out to Guest Services at 1-800-591-3869.

Silvestri Sweets has investigated the possible inclusion of pecans in their Target brand Favorite Day caramels, according to the FDA, and has determined it was caused by "a temporary breakdown in the company's production and packaging process." There have been no reports of illness due to the possible inclusion of pecans in the caramels.