Two Salmon Arm stores are among 16 named in a cross-Canada recall of debittered brewer’s yeast, but not because they’re suspected of doing anything wrong.
The warning was issued to protect anyone who may be allergic to peanuts.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) issued the food recall warning Feb. 22, one of several warnings since Feb. 11 regarding various brands of brewer’s yeast recalled “due to undeclared peanut.” The recalls were triggered by a consumer complaint.
This latest recall included debittered brewer’s yeast sold in bulk at Shuswap Health Foods and store brand brewer’s yeast sold in 250 gram bags at Nutter’s Bulk & Natural Foods, both in Salmon Arm.
The stores were named because they have purchased and sold products which might have been exposed to peanuts. Those products have now all been removed from shelves.
Other stores in the area subject to the recall include Lifestyle Naturals in Vernon (who said they do not carry the debittered brewer’s yeast product) and Natural Rezources in Kelowna. The recall also names stores in Victoria, Chemainus, Ladysmith, Port Alberni and Langley.
The CFIA points out “there have been no reported reactions for the various brands of debittered brewer’s yeast mentioned on the Food Recall Warning. However, there have been reported reactions associated with other recently recalled brewer’s yeast products (which did not include Salmon Arm stores).”
At Nutter’s, the products that may have come in contact with peanuts were sold between April 16, 2018 up to Feb. 14, 2019. However, the risk from Nutter’s appears to be particularly low to zero. Owner Russ Skinner explains that the packaging on the brewer’s yeast at his store already contained a warning about potential peanut contamination, so anyone who purchased it would have been aware.
A good portion of the brewer’s yeast he sold during the time in question did not go for human consumption, but to horses, he says.
“The two kilogram bags are special orders. They feed it to their horses.”
He says a relatively small number of people consume brewer’s yeast to get their Vitamin Bs, usually mixing it into smoothies and other foods.
Skinner suspects that any potential contact with peanuts would have occurred somewhere down the line where the yeast was processed, not from the company that distributes the product to his store.
At Shuswap Health Foods, owner Deanna Hartley says she sells very little brewer’s yeast, which is stored in a different section of the store from the other more popular yeasts. At her store, products sold from June 1, 2018 to Feb. 14, 2019 are included in the recall.
“It’s actually quite awful tasting,” she says of brewer’s yeast, noting it’s mostly purchased for pets.
Both Salmon Arm store owners says anyone who wishes to return the brewer’s yeast subject to the recall are welcome to do so.