ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J. — All canned Slim Fast drinks are being voluntarily recalled by the company over fears of bacterial contamination that could cause diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. The recall affects all 10 million products currently on the market.
The products could possibly be contaminated with the microorganism Bacillus cereus. Unilever says the probability of serious health problems is remote, and the Food and Drug Administration says there have been no deaths or injuries associated with the recall.
An unknown number of people have gotten sick about six to 15 hours after consuming the diet drink, but have recovered within about 24 hours.
The contamination seems to have occurred during the manufacturing process. Unilever discovered the pathogen and notified the FDA on Wednesday.
Unilever's U.S. arm, based in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., says the products were sold nationwide. They came in cartons of four, six or 12 steel cans, 11 ounces in size, and they were also sold individually. The recall covers all Slim-Fast products in cans, regardless of flavor, best-by date, lot code or UPC number. No other Slim Fast products are affected by this recall, including powdered shakes, meal bars or snack bars.
The company said it is working to determine the production issue that caused the contamination. It has halted production, and asked people to discard the drinks.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.