Press Release

March 24, 2008


State Public Health Director issues warning about
food borne illness linked to wheat gluten consumption

Possible threat people allergic to wheat or have Celiac Disease; two cases reported 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Dr. Damon T. Arnold, state public health director, today issued a warning not to eat Hanaro Brand Mini Sized Sweet Rice Dumpling Skins due to possible contamination with wheat gluten.

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) received word about the product after an Illinois resident complained the product contained wheat when it was not listed in the ingredient statement nor was it listed as allergens are required. IDPH sampled the product and found it positive for wheat gluten.

“To date there are two cases in Illinois of people becoming sick after eating this product,” said Dr. Arnold . “We advise consumers allergic to wheat or have celiac disease to throw away any of these sweet rice dumpling skins to avoid possible reaction. Anyone with wheat allergies or celiac disease who thinks they may have experienced symptoms of illness after eating this product are urged to contact their health care provider.”

Celiac disease is a digestive disease that damages the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food. People who have celiac disease cannot tolerate a protein called gluten, found in wheat, rye, and barley.

The product is manufactured in California and was shipped to a distributor in the Chicago area. The Chicago distributor, in turn, shipped a very limited amount of the product to a Super H Market, in Naperville . Although there were only 256 packages manufactured and all but 31 packages have been recovered, it is possible some packages could still be in consumer refrigerators. The packages of Hanaro Brand Mini Sized Sweet Rice Dumpling Skins have a UPC code of 703890203611 with an expiration/use by date of August 9 or September 9 in blue ink on the 8 oz. flexible plastic packaging.

IDPH has been notified by the manufacturer that production has been permanently discontinued.

idph online home
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Illinois Department of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
Phone 217-782-4977
Fax 217-782-3987
TTY 800-547-0466
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