Zachary Confections announced the voluntary recall of the Easter treats Wednesday after a sample taken during routine testing revealed "the potential for salmonella contamination," according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Salmonella is a bacterium that can cause serious and sometimes deadly infections in the very young and the very old, as well as in people who have weakened immune systems, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The foodborne bacterium kills roughly 400 Americans each year, the agency says.
Even healthy adults exposed to salmonella risk fever, pain, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. In rare instances the organism can invade the bloodstream, leading to infections of the heart and arteries, as well as arthritis.
The recall covers 5-ounce packages of the Easter sweets that are sold in white egg crates with purple, green and yellow lettering, carry the product number 31-797 and the best buy date of Feb. 14, 2014. The packages were shipped from the Frankfort, Ind., factory Feb. 21 and 22, and have been distributed to stores in Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin, according to the FDA.
Zachary Confections has not received reports of illness linked to its products, according to the FDA but has suspended production while it investigates the potential contamination.
"We are dedicated to manufacturing wholesome products for our customers," George Anichini, vice president of operations for Zachary Confections, said in a statement. "Consistent with that dedication, we are taking this voluntary action."
The FDA recommends that consumers who purchased the recalled products destroy them or return them to the store.