On December 3, 2009, Unilever United States, Inc. announced a nationwide voluntary recall of Slim-Fast Ready-to-Drink (RTD) canned products. Unilever, which is the company that makes Slim-Fast products, is working in cooperation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to protect the public from the possibility of contaminated products, encouraging all affected distributors and retail customers to act on the recall notice.
The Slim-Fast products were recalled after several consumer complaints of gastrointestinal illness, when a subsequent quality test revealed that RTD canned products are potentially contaminated with the micro-organism Bacillus cereus. While the possibility of serious health risks is remote, Bacillus cereus can cause diarrhea, as well as possible nausea and/or vomiting.
The recall, which is estimated at over 10 million cans, includes any 11 fluid ounce Slim-Fast RTD cans, packaged in cardboard cases containing four, six or 12 steel cans; as well, certain retail outlets sell the cans individually. The Slim-Fast recall notice specifies that "the recall includes all Slim-Fast RTD products in cans, regardless of flavor, Best-By date, lot code or UPC number." No other Slim-Fast products, including powdered shakes, meal bars or snack bars, are affected by the recall.
The recall has been taken as a precautionary measure to prevent any serious illness, and Unilever is strongly urging all consumers to ensure that they do not possess any canned Slim-Fast RTD. The company has launched on ongoing investigation into the production issue that may have led to the contamination (and subsequent recall), and have announced that production and shipment of the product will cease until the issue has been determined, addressed, and corrected.
Although Unilever has stated that the Slim-Fast RTD canned products do not pose serious health risks, consumers should take immediate measures to comply with the recall.
If you are in possession of any canned RTD products, discard them immediately and contact Unilever's Consumer Services Center at 1-800-896-9479 (M-F, 8:30am-6:00pm ET), or visit the Slim-Fast recall website at http://www.slim-fast.com/recall.aspx.
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