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Food Recalls: FreshByte Software Traceability Technology Helps ID Contaminated Products

February 02, 2024 by FreshByte Software

A large food recall, such as the Quaker recall of specific granola bars and granola cereals in December and January across all 50 states and beyond, can be a logistical nightmare.

Fortunately for food wholesale distributors and retailers, cloud-based traceability technology such as FreshByte Software can help identify and recall contaminated products.

Food tracking and traceability is an important tool to quickly remove products from the market that could potentially make consumers ill.

Food Recalls: What Consumers Need to Know

Food recalls in the United States are typically voluntarily initiated by the manufacturer or distributor of the food, though in some situations, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) may request or mandate a recall.

“Food recalls are removals of foods from the market that violate the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) regulations,” says the FDA.

The FDA regulates all foods except meat, poultry, and processed egg products, which are regulated by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

“It is important that consumers be aware of recalls because recalled foods may cause injury or illness, especially for people who are pregnant or have weakened immune systems because of chronic illness or medical treatment,” says the FDA.

The FDA says a food may be recalled because of:

  • Contamination with disease-causing microorganisms, such as bacteria, viruses, or parasites.

  • The presence of foreign objects such as broken glass or fragments of metal or plastic.

  • Failure to list a major allergen in the food, such as peanuts or shellfish, on the product label.

There are instances where the violation can be corrected, and the food returned to the marketplace.

Consumers can keep updated food recalls with the following sources:

  • Recalls of FDA-regulated products can be found in the FDA’s Enforcement Report.

  • FDA offers an email recall subscription service where users can choose to be notified of all recalls, commodity-specific recalls (i.e., Food), and/or individual recall events on a daily or weekly basis.

  • FDA Public warnings are posted on select recalls.

  • Recalls of USDA-regulated products.

  • The company that initiated the product removal issues a recall notice to their direct customers. These notices contain information to help customers identify recalled foods, including the product name, size and type of packaging, Universal Product Code (UPC), product codes, such as lot codes, sell by, or use-by dates, pictures of the packaging and labels, and distribution information (i.e., the states and/or stores in which they were sold).

Quaker Oats Recalls Food Products in all 50 States

Food recalls can be localized or be spread across all 50 states such as the Quaker Oats recall that began in December 2023.

“The Quaker Oats Company today announced the recall of specific granola bars and granola cereals listed below because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems,” said a Quaker Oats release. “Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as arterial infections (i.e., infected aneurysms), endocarditis, and arthritis.”

In an expansion of the recall on Jan. 11, 2024, the company said that the recall includes:

  • Quaker Chewy Granola Bars and Cereals

  • Cap’n Crunch Bars and select Cereals

  • Gamesa Marias Cereal

  • Gatorade Peanut Butter Chocolate Protein Bars

  • Munchies Munch Mix and Snack Boxes that include these products

The recall does not include Quaker Oats, Quaker Instant Oats, Quaker Grits, Quarter Oat Bran, Quaker Oat Flour, or Quaker Rice Snacks.

Quaker advised that the recalled products were sold throughout the 50 United States, Puerto Rico, Guam, and Saipan, and that consumers should check their pantries for any of the products listed and dispose of them.

“Additionally, consumers with any product noted below can contact Quaker Consumer Relations (9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. CST, Mon.-Fri.) at 1-800-492-9322 or visit for additional information or product reimbursement,” said the release. “To date, Quaker has received no confirmed reports of illness related to the products covered by this recall. Quaker has informed the FDA of our actions.”

Specific Recalled Quaker Granola Bars and Granola Cereals

While food wholesalers and retailers have the advantage of using technology such as FreshByte Software’s traceability to identify and remove recalled food products, consumers will need to carefully scan their pantries for the following recalled products:

Quaker Recall: Dec. 15, 2023, Product List

Quaker Recall: Expanded Jan. 11, 2024, Product List

Quaker Recall: Expanded Jan. 31, 2024, Product List

The second expanded recall includes just one additional product, bringing the total recalled products to more than 100, according to ABC News.

USA Today reported: “Quaker has expanded its recall to include an additional item, adding to an already-long list of recalled foods from the PepsiCo-owned company in recent weeks due to being potentially contaminated with salmonella.”

The Quaker food recall timeline:

  • The first Quaker recall, issued Dec. 15, largely included granola bars and granola cereals.

  • The second, Jan. 11 recall expanded the list to include additional products, including snack mixes and cereal products.

  • The third, Jan. 31, added one additional granola bar to the recall.

FreshByte Software: Traceability Throughout the Food Chain

One of the core features of FreshByte Software is its state-of-the-art traceability which can handle new barcodes and RFIDs on everything from fresh produce to a box of crackers to a jar of peanut butter.

FreshByte Software allows the use of hand-held PDAs and laptops to automatically verify that the correct products and quantities have been picked against each shipping order and that the routing is correct, while at the same time, storing and tracking the originating vendor information with each item sold.

This program makes traceability far more widely available than ever with FreshByte Software able to meet and exceed government regulations for tracing and enabling inventory tracking to and from each originating vendor and end-user.

The backwards and forwards traceability can be crucial when a food is recalled such as the ongoing Quaker recall.

Contact FreshByte today to learn more about how our software can help you manage your fresh market wholesale distribution business from produce to meat and poultry to seafood to grocery to food hub to floral.

Tags: Traceability, Food Recalls

FreshByte Software

Written by FreshByte Software

Created with our customer's needs in mind, Fresh Byte Software provides an inventory and accounting management system built to increase gross profits and minimize costs for wholesalers, distributors, and manufacturers. Are you shopping for new software that will help you manage your business? Contact us today, we have the solution for you.