SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — Products from a San Francisco food retailer have been pulled off the shelves at Target stores over claims they may be contaminated, allegations the company disputes.
Just Mayo, a dressing made without eggs, and Just Cookies, also made without eggs, have both been pulled off the shelves at a Target store in Daly City. The products are made by Hampton Creek and are very popular with vegans.
A Target spokeswoman said in a statement, “Pending a full review, last Thursday Target started a market withdrawal of Hampton Creek products, which are being removed from Target stores and Target.com.”
Hampton Creek has disrupted the food market by making mayonnaise, dressing, cookies and cookie dough without eggs; instead using plant-based ingredients. Members of the vegan community have taken to social media to complain about the products being pulled.
Target told Bloomberg news it received several allegations that led to the removal of the products out of abundance of caution.
Two of them had to do with labeling. Some products were labeled non-GMO’s, when the allegation is that they are not. Another accusation is that there’s a product that contains honey, but honey is not on the label.
But the more serious charge is a food safety issue. Although nobody has reported getting sick, Target says there were allegations of possible salmonella or other microbes in Hampton Creek products.
Hampton Creek CEO Joshua Tetrick disputed the allegation that there is anything wrong with his company’s products.
“All Target has told us is they received an anonymous letter that detailed those three false allegations,” said Tetrick.
Tetrick said the allegations are a mystery, and pointed out his products are still selling at Walmart, Kroger and many other stores.
We found them on sale at the Safeway in the mission. Tetrick says the lab constantly tests its products, and has found absolutely no problems with Salmonella or Listeria.
“Nothing in our internal processes” said Tetrick. “Nothing in the world of safety experts that we use that has ever indicated that a product that we have sent out to the marketplace has that issue. Never.”
Hampton Creek products are sold at 20,000 stores nationwide. Target makes up a large percentage of retail sales, so Tetrick hopes the company will reconsider its decision soon.