KEY POINTS

  • Dr. Snack Goji Berry was distributed in several states including New York and Delaware
  • Consuming 10 mg of sulfites has been reported to cause "severe reactions" in some asthmatics
  • Consumers who bought the recalled product may get a full refund

New York based BCS International is recalling its goji berry product because they may contain undeclared sulfites. Those who are sensitive or allergic to it may experience serious allergic reactions.

The problem is that the company's "Dr. Snack Goji Berry" was discovered after routine sampling by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets Food. Inspectors revealed the presence of sulfites, which was not declared on the label, the company announcement on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) website noted.

Sulfites are chemicals that are used as preservatives in foods and beverages, the Cleveland Clinic explained. These can be found in various products and were even widely used in the 1970s and 1980s.

However, sulfites can cause asthma and allergy symptoms, from "mild wheezing" to the potentially life-threatening anaphylactic shock. Because of the severe reactions to sulfites, in 1986, the FDA prohibited the use of sulfites on fresh fruits and vegetables. Further, in products such as dried fruits, the use of sulfites in the production process or as an ingredient must be declared on the label, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln noted.

According to the company, it has previously been reported that consuming 10 milligrams of sulfites per serving can induce "severe reactions" in some asthmatics and may even result in anaphylactic shock in some individuals who are sensitive to sulfites -- if they consume 10 milligrams or even more. This is why its important for individuals who have a sulfite allergy to always check food labels.

The affected products were found to contain 13.6 milligrams of sulfites per serving. Fortunately, the company has not received reports of allergic reactions or illnesses related to the product as of the recall date.

The products affected by the recall are the Dr. Snack Goji Berry products that came in in 4.5-ounce, 6-ounce and 9-ounce plastic containers and 5-pound cardboard packages. They have UPC Codes 80555492205, 80555493218, 80555494216 or 80555470198, and were distributed in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware.

Those who may have bought an affected product are being advised to take them back to where they bought it to get a full refund. Anyone with questions about the recall may contact the company at 718-392-3355.

Goji Berries/Fruits Representative image of goji berries. Photo: Pixabay