If you have dried fruits on hand in your kitchen, you’ll want to take notice of a recent U.S. Food and Drug Administration recall over a potential health hazard in certain shipments of apricots.
According to the FDA announcement, Bokhary Foods (also known as EKTA Foods) based out of Massachusetts, recalled its Godavari brand’s dried apricots because they could contain undeclared sulfites. These undeclared sulfites pose a “risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reactions” in people who eat the affected dried fruit.
The affected Godavari dried apricots were sold in retail locations throughout Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York between July 10 and Nov. 24, 2021. The apricots come in two package varieties: a 7-ounce bag and a 14-ounce bag.
To determine if you have a batch of dried apricots that were included in the recall, check for the following UPC codes on the package:
- 7-ounce product UPC: 0 03658 50001 4
- 14-ounce product UPC: 0 03657 5001 5
The FDA reported the New York Department of Agriculture and Markets discovered the undisclosed sulfites in the Godavari dried apricots during a routine inspection of a 14-ounce package. Once the allergen was detected, EKTA Foods decided to announce the recall on both varieties to protect consumers.
Anyone who has one or more of the recalled Godavari dried apricot products should return them to the point of purchase for a refund. Consumers can also contact EKTA Foods at (508) 988-5595 between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Eastern, Monday through Friday, with additional questions.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, sulfites “are chemicals used as preservatives to slow browning and discoloration in food and beverages during preparation, storage and distribution.”
After numerous significant allergic reactions and up to 13 deaths due to sulfites during the 1970s and 1980s, the FDA decided to ban the use of sulfites in fresh fruits and vegetables in 1986.
Sulfites can still be found in some food and beverages, including beer, wine, shrimp and potatoes. They are also found in some medications.
Allergic reactions to sulfites can range from mild symptoms such as itchy eyes and skin to a full-blown anaphylaxis attack, which leads to a closed throat, breathing difficulties and cardiac problems, according to the Mayo Clinic.