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Possible Salmonella Contamination, Multiple Recalls Prompts Quaker Oats to Close Factory

Posted in Our Blog,Outbreaks & Recalls on April 20, 2024

Last year’s possible salmonella contamination and multiple recalls prompts grain giant Quaker Oats to close factory in Danville, Illinois. Over 100 products recalled.

Quaker Oats to Close Factory in June

PepsiCo, parent company to Quaker Oats, has make the tough decision to close the Danville factory by June 2024. This comes in response to multiple recalls and pause of output at the facility starting in December 2023.

The reason.

Possible Salmonella contamination in Quaker Oats products.

The local government authority in the city of Danville shared a statement on Facebook indicating that the factory had already ceased production and that PepsiCo will continue to pay their employees until June 8th. On April 3, 2024, the company confirmed the closure.

Statement for Quaker Oats to Close Factory

In a statement made by The Quaker Oats Company, they explain the reason for the closure.

“The Quaker Oats Company announces that we are permanently closing our facility in Danville, IL. Following the Quaker recall in December 2023, we paused production at the facility. After a detailed review, we determined that meeting our future manufacturing needs would require an extended closure for enhancements and modernization. In order to continue the timely delivery of Quaker products trusted by consumers since 1877, we determined production would need to permanently shift to other facilities. We do not make this decision lightly and recognize the impact it will have on our employees, their families, and the Danville community. We have notified our workforce and are working closely with our employees and local community officials to provide a supportive transition.

— The Quaker Oats Company”

Expected updates and “extended closure for enhancements and modernization” were likely too great of a feat for this factory. As such, the firm decided it would be more effective to permanently shift production to other active facilities.

More than 510 employees will be laid off due to the closure.

Recalls Due to Potential Salmonella Contamination to Blame

Multiple recalls and potential Salmonella contamination discoveries affecting the company’s granola products hit the news in December of 2024 and continued through the end of January 2024. The factory has not been in production mode since then.

Here’s what we know about the recalls.

First Recall Announced December 15, 2023

The first recall was announced on December 15, 2023, for specific products and lots of granola bars and cereals due to potential contamination with the harmful bacteria, Salmonella.

This product was sold throughout the 50 United States as well as Puerto Rico, Guam, and Saipan.

The recall notice indicated that there were no confirmed reports of illness related to products included in the recall and that the company was working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Second Recall Announced January 11, 2024

Another recall was announced nearly a month later indicating an expansion of recalled products. On January 11, 2024,  the recall included additional cereal, bars, and snacks due to potential contamination with the harmful bacteria, Salmonella.

The products now included select lots of:

  • Quaker Chewy Granola Bars and Cereals
  • Cap’n Crunch Bars and Select Cereals
  • Gamesa Marias Cereal
  • Gatorade Peanut Butter Chocolate Protein Bars
  • Munchies Munch Mix
  • Snack Boxes that include these products

​ These products were also sold throughout the 50 United States, Puerto Rico, Guam, and Saipan.

Third Recall Announced January 31, 2024

An additional recall was announced on January 31, 2024, for an additional granola bar.

This granola bar was listed as discontinued in September 2023, however with a Best Before date of February 10 or 11, 2024, the product may still be in some homes or businesses.

Products NOT Recalled

Quaker Oats has an extensive line of products. Not all the products made by Quaker Oats were included in these recalls. It appears that the issue was also isolated to the one manufacturing facility.

Products not included in recalls include:

  • Quaker Oats
  • Quaker Instant Oats
  • Quaker Grits
  • Quaker Oat Bran
  • Quaker Oat Flour
  • Quaker Rice Snacks

These products were likely manufactured at another facility.

Salmonella Symptoms

Salmonella bacteria are harmful germs that can cause diarrheal illness. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Salmonella infection causes approximately 1.2 million illnesses in the United States each year and is attributed to around 450 deaths.

Most of the time, Salmonella causes infection by cross-contamination of a food product, contact with animals, and the environment. Eating and touching the mouth or face without washing hands is the easiest way to become infected.

The severity of illnesses ranges from mild to serious, with most people not needing medical treatment to recover from their illness.

Common symptoms include:

  • Diarrhea (sometimes bloody)
  • Fever
  • Stomach cramps

Some people may experience nausea, vomiting, or headache.

Symptoms can begin anywhere from 6 hours to 6 days after exposure (with most occurring between 12 and 24 hours after exposure) and last for 4 to 7 days.

Anyone can become sick from Salmonella exposure. However, certain groups of people are more likely to become infected if exposed. These people are also more likely to become seriously ill if infected.

These higher risk people include:

  • Children younger than 5 years
  • Adults older than 65 years
  • People with a weakened immune system (such as people with HIV, diabetes, or undergoing cancer treatment)

In some cases, people with Salmonella infection may develop a complication known as reactive arthritis. This joint pain can last for months or even years and is very difficult to treat. Other common symptoms associated with reactive arthritis include eye irritation and pain when urinating.

Have You Become Sick from Eating Quaker Oats Products?

Fortunately, there have not been reports of illness associated with these recalls made due to potential risk off Salmonella. However, most foodborne illnesses go unreported because people are fortunate enough to recover on their own without medical assistance.

This isn’t the case for everyone. Not reporting your illness leaves gaps in data investigators need to get a better understanding of the problem. While you may not become sick, a young child, older adult, or someone who has a weakened immune system may get seriously ill.

If you have become sick after eating quaker oats products, contact you local health department. If you have become seriously ill from these products, you may want to reach out to a food poisoning lawyer. The experienced Salmonella Lawyers at The Lange Law Firm, PLLC can help navigate you through this potentially confusing process.

Call (833) 330-3663 for a free consultation or click here to email.

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If you’d like to know more about food safety topics in the news, like Possible Salmonella Contamination, Multiple Recalls Prompts Quaker Oats to Close Factory, check out the Make Food Safe Blog. We regularly update trending topics, foodborne infections in the news, recalls, and more! Stay tuned for quality information to help keep your family safe, while The Lange Law Firm, PLLC strives to Make Food Safe!

By: Heather Van Tassell (contributing writer, non-lawyer)