Ingredient Used in Many Processed Foods Recalled

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Thousands of food products are being recalled after salmonella was discovered in one of the ingredients.

That ingredient is a flavor enhancer known as hydrolyzed vegetable protein.

The Food and Drug Administration has a list of the recalled foods on its web site. It includes some brands of potato chips, dips, soups, and dressings.

The FDA says it involves only the hydrolyzed protein manufactured by Las Vegas-based Basic Food Flavors, Incorporated.

Jeffrey Farrar, associate commissioner for food protection at the FDA, said Thursday that many products that contain the ingredient are not dangerous because the risk of salmonella is eliminated after the food has been cooked. Many of the foods involved in the recall are ready-to-eat items that are not cooked by the consumer.

"At this time we believe the risk to consumers is very low," Farrar said.

No illnesses or deaths have been reported.

The FDA said the contamination was discovered by a new tracking system implemented to improve tracing of foodborne illnesses.

*Originally broadcast on March 5, 2010.

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