Publix ice cream recall | Mistake in release distracts from risk


Publix supermarkets had to issue a recall -- but the press release had one big mistake. Image: Flickr / cdharrison / CC-BY-SA

The FDA and Publix Super Markets have announced an ice cream recall. The Publix ice cream recall is due to an undeclared allergen. The big news of this recall, however, is that the FDA is in need of a proofreader.

Publix ice cream recall

The Publix ice cream recall affects only five states – Florida, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina and Tennessee. Only Premium Light Tiramisu Ice Cream is being recalled. The Tiramisu ice cream may contain Coffee Almond Fudge Light ice cream, and the container does not warn of the presence of nuts. Undeclared allergens are a serious risk on packaged foods and can cause deadly allergic reactions in some consumers.

Problems with the Publix ice cream recall

Though Publix Super Markets has voluntarily issued the recall on ice cream, the FDA provided the announcement. The FDA recall is distributed to all major news outlets, including newspapers and web distribution systems. The FDA press release is usually published in its entirety. For the Publix press release, the FDA included the phrase “For Immidiate Release.” This misspelling of “Immediate” has definitely been noticed.

Grammar going out the door

Though the Publix ice cream recall notice is otherwise grammatically correct, the one major misspelling is causing a lot of frustration. While grammar mistakes happen to everyone, the “Immidiate” misspelling is one that even the most basic of spell-check should have caught. Publix is privately owned and has sales of $24.3 billion per year. With that much revenue each year, and a press release co-released by the Federal Department of Agriculture, it is surprising that nobody caught the misspelling. Perhaps this is one more piece of ammunition for the FDA to use when requesting that the food safety and inspection funding allocated to the department be increased.


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