Sunday, September 30, 2018

My first food recall

The voicemail was a little disheartening.

And a little late.

The phone rang the other day while I was watching TV, and the caller ID that pops up on my TV screen gave me a number that I didn't recognize. So I didn't jump to answer the land line phone located two rooms away. If I don't know the number, I'm not answering. So there.

But whomever called left a message. I eventually listened to the message a couple hours later, after Kim got home from work. It was from Harris Teeter, where we do our grocery shopping. We usually do our shopping on Sundays. The voicemail arrived late Monday afternoon.

A pleasant sounding feminine voice, recorded and without showing any sense of alarm or urgency, politely informed me that their records indicated that we had recently purchased the store brand Low Fat Cookies and Cream Frozen Yogurt. They were calling to tell me that the product was being recalled.

"Recalled" was the only word I think I heard, if I recall. That rattles your cage a little bit, especially when it's about a food product. I thought they only recalled cars. I started thinking in terms of e coli or salmonella and started wondering if I'd live to see the next sunset.

And to think I was worried about my AFib.

So we listened to the message again. The voice ticked off the numbers on the yogurt's bar code: 7, 2, 0, 3, 6, 9, 8, 1...

Yep. That's me. Every number matched. Wouldn't you know it? This is the only lottery I've ever won.

Then it hit me – I'd already eaten half of the yogurt. I'm a goner.

The message continued. The product was being recalled because apparently it might contain some peanut agent. If anyone in our house had a peanut allergy, I should return the product ASAP.

Whew. That was close. Kim and I eat peanuts (and peanut butter) like it's the last food on earth. No allergy here. We had dodged a peanut.

But all of this got me to wondering. How did Harris Teeter know I'd purchased their yogurt? How did they know my home phone number? How'd they get peanuts in their cookies and cream yogurt?

I guess all the information is located in the store's nerve center, which for us is the check-out lane. The cash registers are basically computers, just like everything else we own: our cars, our TVs (our TVs are watching us, you know), everything.

I actually took comfort in that knowledge, realizing the store's cash register had the potential to save my life. Knowing that, I happily finished off the rest of my cookies and cream frozen yogurt.

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