Publix Super Markets, which has more than 1,000 stores in five Southern states, has voluntarily recalled four kinds of seasoning mixes that may possibly be contaminated with salmonella.
Publix said it has taken the mixes off of its shelves and says shoppers can return them to the stores for a full refund.
The privately held grocery store operator said late Monday that the mixes were made with hydrolyzed vegetable protein supplied by Basic Food Flavors, which is based in Las Vegas.
Consumers who eat products tainted with salmonella could suffer serious and sometimes fatal infections, particularly young children, frail or elderly persons and others with weakened immune systems.
Spokeswoman Maria Brous said in a statement there have been no reported cases of illness with these products.
The recalled products include all lot codes for 0.75 ounce packs of Publix Mushroom Gravy Mix with the UPC 41415-03308; 1 ounce packages of Publix Meatloaf Seasoning, UPC 41415-03408; 1.45 ounce packets of Publix Beef Flavored Stew Mix, UPC 41415-03608, and 1 ounce packs of Publix Au Jus Gravy Mix with UPC 41415-04208.
Last week Congressional investigators said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration should pay more attention to the safety of some food ingredients. A report released Friday by the Government Accountability Office said some spices, artificial flavors and other ingredients are not subject to frequent safety reviews by the FDA because the agency or manufacturers deem them "generally recognized as safe." A flavor-enhancing hydrolyzed vegetable protein recalled Thursday due to salmonella contamination is among the ingredients.
The investigators said the FDA has done too little to review the substances and recommended the agency require companies making or using them to provide the government with more information.
Publix has 1,012 stores in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama and Tennessee.
Consumers who have purchased the products can also call the Publix Consumer Relations department at 1-800-242-1227 or visit its website at http://www.publix.com.