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Protein powder is supposed to be your ally in achieving your fitness goals, not your enemy that could potentially make you ill, so what do you do when the powder your purchased is recalled?
When manufacturing mistakes or poor ingredients cause your protein powder to appear on an official recall list it’s disappointing, but just like any other healthy food in your diet, it can happen. When it does, don’t toss it in the trash can without checking with AltProtein.com first. We can tell how to get a refund, and which alternatives to try so you keep your diet on track.
- 1 Why do protein powders get recalled?
- 2 How can you make sure your protein powder is safe?
- 3 Whey Protein Powder Recalls
- 4 Vegan Powder Recalls
- 5 Other Powder Recalls
- 6 Weight Loss Supplement Recalls
Why do protein powders get recalled?
It appears that many recalls for protein powder occur due to strict food safety and quality assurances. A few protein powders have been recalled in the past decade due to salmonella concerns, which can occur within the manufacturing process, or even in handling.
Most protein powders get recalled voluntarily by brands before they hit the shelves, but there are always exceptions to this, of course. Many consumer complaints prompt quick recalls as well. With strict food and safety regulations in North America, brands are under great pressure to make sure their products are safe, whether that be through an online sale, or in a store shelf. For example, the company AMPI has recently recalled one of their whey protein powders, issuing this statement:
“At AMPI, we are dedicated to producing dairy products that meet the highest quality and safety standards required by our customers as well as complying with all government food safety requirements. We are recalling this product as a precautionary measure and in keeping with our commitment to the best interests of our customers and consumers, and in line with the Food Safety Modernization Act and FDA requirements. We will continue to work cooperatively with the FDA to provide products that meet our customers’ requirements, meet government food safety standards, and provide the nutritious benefits of dairy products to customers throughout the United States.”
This ‘precautionary measure’ is something a lot of companies do when safety is a concern in one of their products. Other reasons why whey protein powder gets recalled are due to mix-ups with ingredients, or if there is some sort of contamination in the products themselves. Since whey protein or whey powder is used in other food products as well, those products can also be recalled as well.
How can you make sure your protein powder is safe?
Most (if not all) protein powder you buy from reputable sources (either online or at your local health food store) should be safe to consume and use. However, if you feel that your brand of protein powder might be recalled (and don’t know for sure), feel free to bookmark and come back to this list. We’ll do our best to keep updating it so you can always be assured totally safety in the products you choose.
Here are some tips to ensure you use and consume safe protein powder:
- Make sure container hasn’t been tampered with or opened in any way
- Check for bloating or mis-shaped tubs of protein powder (if in doubt, do not use)
- Make sure to store all protein powders in dark location, at room temperature
- Always wash your hands before mixing and using your protein powders
- Don’t use raw eggs or ingredients known to harbor salmonella in your protein shakes
- Make sure you are using protein powder within its best of date
- Only buy protein powders from reputable sellers and marketplace
Was your protein powder recalled in 2018? Check the list below to find out!
Whey Protein Powder Recalls
Whey protein is an animal-based mixture of protein isolated from whey, a byproduct of cheese production. As a protein supplement, it is sold as a flavored powder to make shakes as meal replacement options, and as an ingredient for protein bars.
Aloha Premium Protein Powder
- Project Healthy Living Inc. of New York issued a nationwide recall of its Aloha Premium Protein Powders after receiving complaints from 17 customers who reported “transient gastrointestinal symptoms consistent with staphylococcal food poisoning,” according to the FDA.
- All chocolate and vanilla powder blends manufactured between November 2014 through January 2015 were recalled. This powder was sold in both 14-serving sized steel tins and single-serving sized pouches.
- Project Healthy Living has ceased production of the product and asks that customers return all recalled product for examination. The company will provide a refund and the cost of return shipping.
- For more information call 1-888-SAFEFOOD Monday through Friday between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.
Alternative to try: ProMix Nutrition Container of Unflavored Grass-Fed Whey Protein
Whey-26 Protein Powder
- Vitalabs, Inc. issued a voluntary recall of Whey-26 Protein Powder due to potential salmonella contamination.
- Whey-26 Protein Powder comes in three flavors of strawberry, vanilla, and chocolate and all three are affected by this recall.
- Whey-26 Protein Powder is sold under the following brand names: Donne Hale’s, Dr. Bill’s Choice, HCG Buy Direct, The Healthy Way, Innovative Nutra Labs Nutrapure, Iron Mag Labs, Len Rossi’s, Lifestyle Perfect, Nature’s Pantry, Northeast Ohio Endocrinology, Nutrition World Ultra, Peachtree Natural Foods, Sharp Labs G. Booster, SouthFit Supplements, Susan’s Essential Formulas, Team Kattouf, This is Bio Shape Shake, Trainer’s Choice, Unlimited Nutrition Athletic, X3 Nutrition, YourHCG.Com and Vitalabs.
- The lots involved in the recall may be found here.
- Whey-26 is sold throughout the U.S., and in Aruba, Ontario, and Poland both online and in stores.
- While no illnesses have been reported, customers are encouraged to return the affected lot numbers to their place of purchase to receive a full refund.
- Contact Vitalabs, Inc. at 1-800-241-3017 Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. with any questions.
Alternatives to try: NAKED CASEIN – 5LB 100% Micellar Casein Protein
Ultralife Performance Protein
- All flavors of Ultralife Performance Protein have been recalled over missing information on its labeling.
- Labels do not include the presence of egg, wheat, and soy in the powder and the ingredients pose a risk to individuals with food allergies and food sensitivities.
- Ultralife encourages customers to return the product to where they purchased it for a full refund.
Alternative to try: Dr. Mercola Pure Power Protein Vanilla
AMPI Dry Whey Powder
- Associated Milk Producers Inc. (AMPI) recalled dry whey powder due to potential Salmonella contamination.
- All whey powder products manufactured by the Blair Wisconsin plant in the month of May 2018 were recalled as a safety precaution.
- Consumers with questions may contact the AMPI Response Center at 734-773-4220.
LeanPro8 Protein Powder
- On April 24, 2018, Labrada Nutrition recalled specific lots of its LeanPro8 Protein Powder due to undeclared egg protein. People with an allergy to eggs risk a severe or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume these products.
- Click here for a list of the products affected and the associated lot numbers.
- Consumers who have purchased these products are asked to return them to the place of purchase for a full refund.
- Customers may call Labrada Nutrition at 1-800-832-9948 Monday thru Friday from 9 AM—5 PM CST for more information.
Alternative to try: OPTIMUM NUTRITION GOLD STANDARD 100% Whey Protein Powder
Vegan Powder Recalls
Vegan protein powder is plant-based meaning it derives its protein from sources like nuts, seeds, and grains. Unlike whey and casein-based powders that rely on meat, eggs, and dairy for protein, vegan powder contains no animal products.
- Oriya Organics, LLC voluntarily recalled their Superfood Protein Medley due to possible Salmonella contamination.
- The recalled products were sold both in-store in Texas and Louisiana, and online to customers in Texas, Arkansas, Illinois, Florida, New York, Louisiana, and Virginia.
- Click here to see the recalled lot number and expiration date.
- Consumers that purchased these products are asked not to consume them; to either discard the affected items or bring them back to where they purchased the items for a full refund.
- Customers who have questions may contact Oriya Organics at 512-992-5100, Monday—Friday from 9 AM—5 PM CST or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alternative to try: Sunwarrior Powder
Nutiva’s Superfood 30
- Nutiva, an Organic Superfoods company, issued a voluntary recall of Organic Plant Based Protein Superfood 30 Shake—Vanilla due to undeclared peanuts in the powder on March 23, 2017.
- There is a possibility the powder has trace amounts of peanuts posing a severe or life-threatening risk to those with peanut allergies.
- The FDA has the list of the affected products on its website.
- Customers with questions are encouraged to contact Nutiva by calling 1-800-993-4367 between the hours of 8 a.m. –3:00 p.m. Monday –Friday or email email@example.com
Alternative to try: Vega One All-in-One Shake, French Vanilla
Hemp Vegan Protein Powder
- Healthy Warrior Pty Ltd. recalled Hemp Vegan Protein Powder in March 2018 for containing soy since its label claims it is soy-free.
- This mislabeling poses a risk to those allergic to soy or who have an intolerance for it since ingesting soy can cause a severe or life-threatening allergic reaction.
- Those affected by the recall may return the products to the place of purchase for a full refund.
- For more information visit www.thebaileyboys.com.au
- Consumers may also call 1-800-300-1558 for more information.
Alternative to try: Orgain Organic Nutrition Shake
Soy Complete Plant-Based Protein Shake
- Healthy Body Services recalled its vanilla-flavored Soy Complete Plant-Based Protein Shake because it contains milk that is not declared on the label posing a health risk to those allergic to dairy. If ingested, those with milk allergies could have a severe or life-threatening allergic reaction due to the mislabeling.
- Consumers are asked to throw out the recalled product or return it to the place of purchase for a full refund.
- For more information on the January 2018 recall, call 613-773-6600.
Other Powder Recalls
- On January 29, 2016, Garden of Life LLC voluntarily recalled RAW Meal Organic Shake & Meal Replacement chocolate, original, vanilla, and vanilla chai products because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella Virchow.
- RAW Meal products with an expiration date in September and October 2017 were recalled.
- Specific lot numbers of the items recalled are listed on their website.
- Customers may return the unused portion of the product to the place of purchase to receive a full refund.
- Call Garden of Life Retail Support Team at 1-800-622-8986 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. EST Monday through Friday for more information about the recall.
Alternative to try: Sunwarrior Classic Protein
Weight Loss Supplement Recalls
Protein and weight loss supplement shakes can help you reduce your appetite and boost your metabolism by adding more protein to your diet.
- 10 million cans of its milk-based liquid shakes recalled in August 2018 due to possible bacteria contamination.
- Bacillus cereus has been found in the weight loss product and has the potential to cause gastrointestinal sickness of diarrhea and vomiting.
- Both illnesses typically resolve within 24 hours of ingesting the bacteria however the FDA urges anyone that has consumed the recalled Slim-Fast to seek medical attention.
- The recall includes all varieties of Slim-Fast Ready-to-Drink products in cans regardless of the flavor, expiration date, lot code, or UPC number.
- Consumers who have any of the recalled Slim-Fast products should discard the cans immediately and call 1-800-896-9479 to request a refund.
Alternative to try: Nature’s Bounty Optimal Solutions Protein Powder and Vitamin Supplement
MUSCLE MILK Shakes
- HP Hood has recalled MUSCLE MILK products due to the potential for premature product spoilage after identifying a possible packaging defect.
- If consumers notice the packaging is bloated or if the product tastes or smells spoiled they should not consume it and instead return it to the place of purchase for a full refund.
- Customers may also call 1-877-446-7635 Monday-Thursday 7:45 AM—4:00 PM CST, or Friday 7:45 AM—2:45 PM CST.
Alternative to try: CalNaturale Svelte Organic Protein Shake
Protein PLUS Shakes
- Bolthouse Farms recalled a selection of protein drinks due to possible spoilage.
- Shakes that appear lumpy, smell and taste unpleasant should not be consumed and should be either thrown away or returned to the point of sale for a full refund.
- The recall includes Protein PLUS shakes in the following flavors: chocolate, vanilla bean, coffee, coconut, strawberry, banana honey almond butter, and mocha cappuccino.
- For more information consumers are asked to call 1-866-535-3774 between 6:00 a.m. to 7 p.m. PST, Monday to Friday or visit Facebook/BolthouseFarms for more information.
Alternative to try: LABRADA
Ones to avoid: BSN Syntha-6 Protein, Muscle Milk, Adaptogen Science Tasty Whey, Body Fortress Whey Protein, Saanson GreenFoods Vegan Protein with Probiotics
Last updated: December 16, 2019
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Health enthusiast, runner, protein nut. Owen likes to write about protein, particularly alternatve supplementation and supplement comparisons.