November 7, 2008
In 2000, Ben & Jerry's Homemade Inc. recalled 64,000 pints of Peanut Butter Cup ice cream nationwide for undeclared tree nuts. Six consumers reported allergic reactions. In 2003, Ben & Jerry's recalled 84,000 pints of Karamel Sutra ice cream for undeclared peanuts, and one allergic reaction was reported. In 2007, 140,000 pints of Country Peach Cobbler ice cream were recalled for undeclared wheat, though there were no reported reactions to that flavor.
Company spokesman Rob Michalak said that in the 2000 and 2003 recalls, allergens slipped into the ice cream because suppliers had provided the wrong ingredients. In the 2007 recall, Michalak said, Ben & Jerry's simply forgot to print the word "wheat" on the ingredient label.
The Tribune investigation found that 187 companies since 1998 have had more than one recall for hidden allergens.