If you’re someone who shops at Costco, then you definitely understand its appeal. The wholesale chain offers a variety of home, grocery and car products at super affordable prices.
In addition to their great stock, the stores also offer great customer service and return policy. These are just a few reasons why around three million shoppers visit Costco every day.
If you happen to be among these people, then you may want to check your freezer right away. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently issued a recall alert for frozen berry products sold at Costco. According to the notice, the berries may be contaminated with Hepatitis A.
The recall is specifically for the four-pound bags of the Kirkland Signature Three Berry Blend sold in Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, San Diego, Los Angeles and Hawaii. The best-by dates on the bags range from February 16, 2020 to May 4, 2020.
The best-by codes located in the white box on the back of the bag are as follows:
- FEB1620,(A),(B),(C),(D),(E),(F),(G), or (H);
- FEB1820,(A),(B),(C),or (D);
- FEB2920,(A),(B),(C),or (D);
- MAR0120,(A),(B),(C),or (D);
- APR1920,(B),(C), or (D);
- APR2020(A),(B),(C),(D),(E), or (F);
- APR2720(A),(B),(C),(D),(E),(F),(G), or (H);
- APR2820(A),(B),(C),(D),(E),(F),(G), or (H);
- MAY0220(A),(B),(C),(D),(E),(F),(G), or (H);
- MAY0420 (H).
At this point, all of the recalled products, which were supplied to Costco by the Oregon-based Townsend Farms, have been removed from the stores. If you happen to have an affected bag of berries in your home, you should throw it out immediately or return it to the store for a refund.
This is the second recall in under a week concerning frozen berries. Popular grocery chain Kroger recalled three varieties of their Private Selection brand berries on June 7. The berries, also manufactured by Townsend Farms, tested positive for Hepatitis A.
Kroger sold the berries at nearly 2,800 stores in 35 states. The berries were also sold at other Kroger-owned stores, including Smith’s, Fred Meyer and Pick ‘n Save.
The recalled products are as follows:
- Private Selection Frozen Triple Berry Medley, 48 oz (Best by: 07-07-20; UPC: 0001111079120)
- Private Selection Frozen Triple Berry Medley, 16 oz (Best by: 06-19-20; UPC: 0001111087808)
- Private Selection Frozen Triple Berry Medleym 16 oz (Best by: 06-19-20, 07-02-20; UPC: 0001111087809)
This is the second time in six years that Townsend Farms and Costco are caught up in a recall due to hepatitis. In March 2013, at least 162 people contracted Hepatitis A after eating the farm’s Organic Antioxidant Blend frozen berries purchased from Costco stores.
The outbreak affected people in Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah and Wisconsin.
Hepatitis A is a highly contagious viral disease that affects liver function. According to the Mayo Clinic, infection is usually caused by contaminated food or water, or by coming in close contact with a person who has the disease.
Symptoms, which include fever, nausea, fatigue, vomiting diarrhea, loss of appetite, jaundice, abdominal discomfort and joint pain, can take between 15 and 50 days after exposure to show.
Hepatitis A isn’t chronic and does not cause long-term liver damage. However, in rare cases, the illness can last several months and result in acute liver failure.
If you have symptoms of Hepatitis A, you should see a doctor immediately. If you’ve consumed an affected product and have not been vaccinated for the Hepatitis A virus, you should also consult with a doctor.
The FDA says it is working with the manufacturer to determine what caused the contamination. They’re also investigating “to determine whether there are other implicated products.” For more information about this recall, visit the FDA website here.
Share this information with your family and friends so they can protect themselves.
I’m one of those people who thinks that it’s better to overcook your chicken just to be on the safe side. If I have to add a little extra sauce to my dry chicken to guarantee I won’t get salmonella, well then so be it. I’d rather that than being sick.
Using the crockpot is one of my favorite ways to make chicken, but recently I wanted to put frozen chicken in the crockpot and let it cook for the day while I was at work. I told my friend this and she said I should be careful because cooking frozen chicken in the crockpot can be dangerous. I didn’t know what she was talking about, but I decided to look into it. It turns out, she’s right! There are some legitimate concerns when it comes to cooking chicken straight from the freezer using your crockpot.
According to the USDA, there’s a “danger zone,” which is the temperature range that is ideal for harmful bacteria to grow on food. Because you’d be letting the chicken sit on the counter in the crockpot all day thawing, there is a danger that it could contract some of these bacteria.
Leaving food out too long at room temperature can cause bacteria (such as Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella Enteritidis, Escherichia coli O157:H7, and Campylobacter) to grow to dangerous levels that can cause illness. Bacteria grow most rapidly in the range of temperatures between 40 °F and 140 °F, doubling in number in as little as 20 minutes. This range of temperatures is often called the “Danger Zone.”
Never leave food out of refrigeration over 2 hours. If the temperature is above 90 °F, food should not be left out more than 1 hour.
- Keep hot food hot—at or above 140 °F. Place cooked food in chafing dishes, preheated steam tables, warming trays, and/or slow cookers.
- Keep cold food cold—at or below 40 °F. Place food in containers on ice.
If the USDA danger zone isn’t enough to convince you, their guidelines for using a crockpot specifically tel you to thaw meat and poultry beforehand.
Always thaw meat or poultry before putting it into a slow cooker. Choose to make foods with a high moisture content such as chili, soup, stew or spaghetti sauce. If using a commercially frozen slow cooker meal, prepare according to manufacturer’s instructions.
Despite the warnings from the USDA, the actual Crock-Pot company says you can cook chicken from frozen in their product, you just need to make sure you’re adjusting to add more cooking time like you would if you were cooking chicken from frozen in the oven.
“You can cook frozen meat in any Crock-Pot brand product, but suggested cook time may need to be increased,” a representative for Crock-Pot told Today. “We recommend that you refer to your product’s instruction manual as well for specific instructions and guidance.”
And if that wasn’t enough to convince you, Tom Super, SVP of Communications at the National Chicken Council, admits that even he cooks chicken from frozen in his crockpot.
“It is entirely safe to prepare frozen chicken in a slow cooker or crockpot as long are you are familiar with the make and model of the device,” Super told Today.
Quin Patton, a food scientist formerly with PepsiCo, told Today that cooking chicken in a crockpot is safe, so long as you heat it to the proper temperature.
“It is safe to cook a frozen chicken in a slow cooker,” he said. “You just need to make sure the internal temperature gets up to 165 degrees at some point during the cooking process.”
A spokesperson for the USDA does admit that their recommendations err a little more on the side of caution.
“Basically, our recommendations are a little bit more conservative just to make sure everyone is covered,” the spokesperson told Today.
Personally, I’ll be listening to the USDA so I can be as careful as possible to avoid any food-borne illnesses, but for those who are willing to take more of a risk, go ahead and cook your chicken from frozen right in the crock pot!
Do you cook frozen chicken in your crock pot?
Pillsbury’s place & bake cookies are probably one of their most popular products. Whether you love the cookies that have the images in the middle, or stick to the classic chocolate chip variety, you’ve definitely indulged in these special cookies before.
For me, I used to bring them to school for bake sales because I knew I wouldn’t be able to do half as good a job as them. Not to mention I usually forgot I needed cookies until the last minute! I can’t count how many times I’ve relied on Pillsbury to save my bacon, and they come through every time.
Now, they’re offering a new place & bake treat that will switch up your classic bake sale, and still be super easy to do. Pillsbury is releasing place & bake brownies so you can up your baking game without having to up your baking skills! There are three flavors that have been released so far.
First off, there’s a classic chocolate fudge brownie.
Then, there’s a peanut butter chip brownie, which is a chocolate brownie base with naturally flavored peanut butter chips.
Then, there’s the one I’m sure will be my favorite, a marshmallow brownie. This one is a chocolate brownie base with marshmallow bits inside. Talk about delicious!
The place & bake brownie packages come with 12 pre-formed brownie rounds, and all you need to use is a muffin tin and muffin liners. The brownies bake up in the pan in about 20 minutes, and they’re basically guaranteed to make your house smell delicious. You could probably also make these without using the muffin liners, just make sure you really grease the pan so the brownies don’t stick.
The packages are available for $3.29 each at select retailers, and they’ll be rolling out across the country by the end of July. You can bake them as directed and wind up with hot, fresh brownies with no mess. You could also jazz them up a bit and use them as a base. You could take the peanut butter chip dough, wrap it around a mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, and bake up some delicious peanut butter brownie bombs. You could sandwich the chocolate marshmallow brownie between two graham crackers and have a fancy version of a s’more. You could also take the chocolate brownie, slice it in half, and throw some vanilla ice cream in there to make delicious ice cream sandwiches.
However you choose to enjoy Pillsbury place & bake brownies, one thing is for sure…you’ll absolutely want more!
Which flavor do you want to try?
We were not paid to write this story. The products and services mentioned below were selected independent of sales and advertising.
For years, Jamie Oliver has been one of the top chefs in the world. His shows, cookbooks, and restaurants are basically household names, and his feud with Gordon Ramsay is always good for some entertainment.
However, on May 21, it was announced that Oliver’s UK restaurants went into administration, which is a form of bankruptcy. It was the collapse of an empire. All but three of Oliver’s locations will be closed, and more than 1,000 jobs will be lost. Most employees learned about the closures on Tuesday, the same day as the announcement. Others were sent an email by Oliver. That email has been released, and Oliver made it clear he didn’t take the decision lightly.
I’m absolutely devastated that we have had no choice but to put our much-loved UK restaurants into administration.
I appreciate how difficult this news is for everyone affected and I want to assure you that i have explored every possible avenue available and exhausted all options over the past months to try and save this business. I have personally invested everything I could to try and turn things around.
You guys are the best in the business and I know you will move on to great things in no time at all. I’m truly sorry and give you all my love, gratitude and most importantly wish you all the luck in the world. Today is a really sad day. Big love as ever.
Oliver also posted about the closures on Twitter.
“I’m devastated that our much-loved UK restaurants have gone into administration. I am deeply saddened by this outcome and would like to thank all of the people who have put their hearts and souls into this business over the years,” he wrote.
When Oliver says he invested as much as he could, he really meant it. He previously poured nearly $10 million of his own money into his restaurant group, just mere hours before it was going to be bankrupt.
“We had simply run out of cash,” he shared. “I honestly don’t know [what happened],” Oliver went on to explain. “We’re still trying to work it out, but I think that the senior management we had in place were trying to manage what they would call the perfect storm — rents, rates, the high street declining, food costs, Brexit, increase in the minimum wage. There was a lot going on.”
The restaurant group’s CEO, Jon Knight, also pointed out the location of the restaurants wasn’t ideal.
“We were opening too many restaurants, too quickly, in the wrong places. We were opening in places that weren’t university towns and didn’t have enough of a tourism element,” he said.
KPMG, the firm appointed to act as the restaurant group’s administrator, released a statement of their own. They acknowledged that paying the employees is a top priority. It’s been noted that all employees will be paid their full salary up to the date of the restaurant closures.
Both Jamie’s Italian restaurants and Jamie Oliver’s Diner at Gatwick Airport will continue to trade in the short term while the joint administrators explore options for the site.
The current trading environment for companies across the casual dining sector is as tough as I’ve ever seen. The directors at Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group have worked tirelessly to stabilize the business against a backdrop of rising costs and brittle consumer confidence.
Our priority in the coming hours and days is to work with those employees who have been made redundant, providing any support and assistance they need.
It’s upsetting to see his restaurant’s collapse after years of hard work, but that’s the risk you take when you grow your businesses so quickly, and in such an unstable market.
What do you think of the restaurant closures?
When it comes to classic candy choices, not many options rank above Skittles. The fruity, chewy candies have been around for years, and you know exactly what you’re getting when you buy them. Over the years, there have been a couple of new flavors launched by the company, like Wild Berry and Sour, but it usually all comes back to the classic fruit flavors.
Maybe Skittles saw how successful M&Ms have been with their flavors, though, because they’ve unveiled three new flavor runs for summer, but you’ll have to make sure to get them quick…they’re only around for the summer!
Nothing says summer like a nice freeze pop, and Skittles knows that. They’re unveiling a combo of flavors that’s sure to hit your nostalgic nerve. You’ll be getting Blue Raspberry, Lemon, Grape, Orange and Strawberry flavors, but you’ll only be able to get them at Dollar General stores in 2oz bags.
Sour Wild Berry
Why mess with a good thing, right? Skittles already had Wild Berry and Sour combinations, so putting those two together is a bit of a no-brainer! The flavors will be Sour Strawberry, Sour Berry Punch, Sour Wild Cherry, Sour Melon Berry and Sour Raspberry, and you’ll be able to get them at Dollar General Stores in 12 oz bags.
Who doesn’t love a good mystery? While the flavors for these Skittles are known, what you don’t know is which Skittle will give you that taste. Usually, the color of the Skittle matches the flavor, but that’s not the case for this batch! Try and see if you can figure out which colors are Alter Ego Orange, Cryptic Citrus, Sneaky Strawberry, Undercover Apple and Raspberry Ruse. Hint: it probably won’t be what you think! Skittles imposters will only be available at Walmart stores in 4oz and 14oz bags.
Everyone loves a good handful of Skittles, and now you can love them in even more flavors!
Which Skittles do you want to try?
When you go out to eat, it can be hard to keep your calorie counts low. Even though you think drinks and coffee beverages from Starbucks might have fewer calories than a slice of cake, they’re actually packed full of sugar.
You can’t always avoid going out, though, so it’s important to know which drinks are the healthiest options to order when you’re at Starbucks. Obviously, the healthiest is water…but for when you want something else, here are some choices for you!
1. Iced Peach Citrus Green Tea
With summer coming, a good iced tea is necessary. This citrus drink using Teavana Green Tea only has 48 calories, so you won’t be screwing over your calorie count for the day!
2. Coffee Light Frappuccino
A blended coffee drink is delicious, and there’s really no replacing it. Combining espresso, skim milk, and ice gives you an 83 calorie delight.
Cappuccinos are great because you can add many different flavors to keep things changing. Vanilla, cinnamon, or even cocoa can be added to your drink and you’ll still keep the calories low. Just make sure you’re asking for sugar-free syrup.
4. Iced Mango Black Tea Lemonade
Mango and lemonade make for a tropical adventure in your mouth. In a tall, you’re looking at 83 calories.
5. Matcha Tea Latte
Matcha is all the rage right now, but you don’t have to miss out just because you’re watching your calories. It’s only 89 calories, and you’ll be in for a silky, milky delight.
6. Iced Strawberry Black Tea
Strawberry season is just around the corner, so get your fix with this delicious drink. It’s black tea sweetened with strawberry, lemonade, and ice. Perfection.
7. Mocha Light Frappuccino
Another Frappuccino to satisfy your craving! Get yourself a mocha light frap, which has iced coffee made with mocha-flavored sauce, blended with milk, and topped with whipped cream (yes)! All that for under 100 calories when you order a tall.
8. Nitro Cold Brew Coffee
This is one is new, and pretty popular. Take cold brew coffee, infuse it with nitrogen, and here we are. It’s naturally sweet, and just 4 calories. You can also get this with caramel cold foam, which infuses milk with smooth caramel, and only amounts to 28 calories.
9. Skinny Vanilla Latte
A skinny latte uses a sugar substitute and has 15 grams of protein in a grande version, so you can definitely feel guilt-free about one of those. Plus, it’s only 120 calories, so that’s always a plus.
Which drink will you be ordering?
It’s hard to remember a time when there was just one Oreo flavor, isn’t it? Remember when it was just the classic chocolate wafers with a vanilla filling? It almost feels like those were simpler times. Now, every single holiday seems to require a new flavor of cookie, and sometimes they even manage to stick around for good.
Don’t get me wrong, I think some of the new flavors have been real winners. The carrot cake ones? Unbelievably good. But, at what point are they going to stop? The answer is probably never, so I guess I should stop whining and just get exciting for the new flavors that are set to be released this summer from the cookie company.
1. Marshmallow Moon
This new flavor also includes three new designs on the cookie itself. Oreo is paying tribute to the 50th anniversary of the moon landing with these ones, and they’ll be the classic chocolate wafer filled with purple marshmallow creme. Odds are, it will be the same creme that was in the seasonal Peeps cookies, but that’s really not that big of a deal.
As a little added bonus, these limited edition cookies will feature glow-in-the-dark packaging and limited edition stickers, as well.
I think of all the new flavors coming this summer, these ones are the most intriguing to me. These cookies, set to be released in June, will be a permanent addition to the cookie lineup, so hopefully they’re a big hit.
Coming in the format of the Thins, these Oreos will be a chocolate wafer filled with a latte creme. In theory, they’ll be the perfect addition for any morning cup of coffee, or as a sweet treat in the afternoon. Or, if you’re like me, you’ll be shoveling them into your mouth at midnight when you really want a snack!
3. Mint Chocolate Chip
I know what you’re thinking: these cookies already exist, don’t they? Not quite. While Oreo does have a mint-flavored cookies, these ones are in honor of Basking Robbins, and will be hitting the shelf in mid-July.
The cookie is going to be one of the more elaborate ones Oreo has ever produced with both mint and dark chocolate cremes inside, as well as chocolate chips. These cookies are limited edition, but something tells me if they’re a hit, there might be more collaborations with Baskin Robbins right down the road.
4. Golden Maple Creme
I’ve got some family that live in Canada, and they’ll often send down these delicious maple-filled sandwich cookies that I absolutely love. Now, it looks like I’ll be able to get my own version here!
Coming to stores in August, the Maple Creme Oreos will feature golden wafer cookies with a maple-flavored creme in the middle. Sign me up!