It was October 5th when you saw the recall here on News 10. It was an announcement that Baker's White Chocolate could contain salmonella. Kraft Foods issued a recall with "best if used by dates" of March 31, 2008, April 1, 2, and 3rd, 2008 with a XCZ code.
Tuesday afternoon, though, a News 10 producer only found but purchased two boxes under recall from the Kroger store in the Frandor Shopping Center in Lansing Township. There were others she left on the shelf.
We checked several other stores in town. She also found one box on the shelf at Meijer on Lake Lansing Road.
We contacted both stores where managers were surprised at what we'd found. Both sent us on to corporate spokespeople.
Meijer's rep told us the registers at the store were flagged and would have alerted the cashier had we tried to purchase the chocolate. She thanked us for alerting her to the one box and says it happens that things get lost in such a big store. "I believe it is an extremely isolated incident to find a recalled product in a store," Stacie Behler told us.
Kroger also thanked us for alerting the company to what their spokesman, Dale Hollandsworth calls "a miss." He tells us company e-mails inform stores of recalls and require they report back with 24-hours to tell Kroger how many items they've removed from store shelves. Their registers also flag the items to keep them from being purchased. Those practices, he says, were not followed in the Frandor store.
"We are extremely sorry," Hollandsworth told us. "We will be counseling with this store....This was human error."
The state's department of agriculture is in charge of inspecting grocery stores and does audit their recall practices. They can fine a store if they find them "negligent." They will investigate the cases we brought to their attention.
"Mistake happen," MSU food science associate professor Elliot Ryser, tells us. "It takes time to get the word out."
He says the chain of recalling begins with the manufacturer, and ultimately, that's where the legal responsibility lies. He says that chain truly ends, though, only with a vigilant and informed consumer.