Those hoping to warm up following fun-filled winter activities or just wishing to escape the winter chill may be out of luck. After enjoying time in the snow and chilly temperatures, consumers are being advised against reaching for a piping hot mug of certain peanut butter hot chocolate products. The delicious product, which was sold under various brand names, has been recalled by Corim Industries, USA due to the risk of a serious or life-threatening allergic reaction due to the presence of undeclared peanuts in the product.
The recall affects peanut butter hot chocolate k-cup products that were distributed to a limited number of resellers nationwide between January 11, 2021 and November 30, 2022, according to a notice shared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Jan. 18. Affected by the recall is Cocoa de Aroma's 24 ct k-cups assorted (12.7 oz carton containing Peanut Butter flavor 0.52 oz k-cups), Smart Sips' 24 ct k-cups (12.7 oz carton), Jersey Charm's 24 ct k-cups (12.7 oz carton), and Colonial Coffee's 12 ct k-cups (4.44 oz carton). Only those peanut butter hot chocolate k-cups with Best By dates between January 11, 2023 and January 11, 2025 are included in the recall. The Best By dates can be located on the bottom of the carton, and images of the labels of the recalled products can be viewed here.
The recall was initiated due to a temporary breakdown in the company's supplier documentation process, which resulted in trace levels of peanut that was not declared on bulk label or finished product label being present in a replacement flavoring ingredient from a different supplier. Peanut allergy is one of the most common causes of severe allergy attacks, according to the Mayo Clinic. Signs and symptoms of a peanut allergy usually occur within minutes after exposure and can include skin reactions, itching or tingling in or around the mouth and throat, digestive problems, tightening of the throat, shortness of breath or wheezing, and a runny nose. Peanut allergy is also the most common cause of food-induced anaphylaxis, a life-threatening reaction that narrows the airways and can block breathing.
Per the FDA, "testing conducted by Corim indicated that the levels may be below the limit of detection," and there have been no illnesses or deaths reported to date in connection with this problem. However, due to the risk the product poses, consumers with a peanut allergy have been urged not to consume the product, which should instead be disposed of or returned to the place of purchase for a full refund. The FDA noted that the documentation process that caused the error "has been corrected and the company has instituted additional safety checks and corrective actions, including discontinuing the use of this particular flavoring ingredient."