If you're stopping at a gas station for road trip snacks, or trolling the airport shops for something to munch on during your flight, be wary of Ritz products, because several have been recalled due to a Salmonella contamination risk. So far, there haven't been any reports of illnesses linked to these products, but the company, Mondelez Global, is recalling the products as a precaution.
You might be wondering how a cracker could end up getting contaminated with Salmonella, an infection typically associated with raw meat, poultry, and eggs? Ritz products containing cheese — like Ritz Bits Cheese and Ritz Cheese Crackers Sandwiches — are made with whey powder. The supplier for this particular ingredient has recalled their whey powder due to a potential Salmonella contamination.
This recall applies to the entire United States, including Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. For a full list of the 15 products included in this recall, see the Food and Drug Administration website. If you're nervous about the products you have already, you can check the UPC number located on the packaging against the FDA's list. And if you do happen to have the recalled products, you're should throw them out and definitely not eat them.
Whenever a popular food item gets hit with a Salmonella-related recall, it's normal to get freaked out. Salmonella is a bacterial disease that lives in your intestines and eventually gets expelled from your body via your feces, according to the Mayo Clinic. Some people don't experience any symptoms at all, while others get diarrhea, a fever, and cramps between eight and 72 hours after eating a contaminated food.
If you experience any of these symptoms and ate a contaminated food recently, then it's a good idea to stay hydrated (particularly if you've been puking) and see your doctor if it doesn't clear up after a few days. Your doctor can test for Salmonella by taking a sample of your stool, according to the Mayo Clinic. If the infection gets into your bloodstream, your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic.
This Ritz recall might be a bummer for those of us traveling and looking for an easy on-the-go snack, but luckily there are lots of other options out there that don't involve a Salmonella risk.