take it back to the store and don’t consume it

Contaminated bread: ergot

The bread memory that the editors of Objeko invite you to discover today is really a special case. It is indeed very rare that this product, the emblem of gastronomy French, are subject to a recall. Even more on a grand scale! Unlike many other products, bread is made, or at least baked, the day it is eaten. It’s also extremely rare that it doesn’t sit on our tables for very long.

So what could lead to such a product recall? The answer is simple: flour. And through any flour! It is the one that contains rye, this rustic grain used in many recipes to add a signature flavor. Rye has a weakness, however. Although it is a very resistant plant, it can be infected by a parasitic fungus: ergot.

The latter is not dangerous if consumed in small quantities. However, too much consumption can lead to many problems, which has already happened in the past. We will come back to this below.

The parties involved bread

A major recall for bread was launched on Thursday 31 March. It concerns four variants of preparations, sold in several supermarkets. First, there is the 350 gram farmer’s bread that was sold at Netto and Intermarché between 21 February and 30 March 2022. These same two brands are also recalling their 250 gram farmer’s bread that was sold between February 2 and 30. March, as well as the 300-gram walnut bread sold between February 16 and March 30.

Super U is also in turmoil for their 300 gram bastard rye bread sold between February 15 and March 26. Again, ergot is involved. As you might expect, most of this bread has already been eaten. If this is not the case, we recommend that you go to the store as soon as possible to request a return!

Bread contamination and its precedents

Ergot-contaminated rye bread has plagued Europe since the Middle Ages. too much of this mushroom parasite can cause gangrene and death. However, it should be noted that ergot has other properties. It can be used as a sedative, which seems to have been the case since Roman times. This fungus is also at the basis of the discovery of LSD. It can cause hallucinations. For example, in the story we find several mentions of “bread that makes you mad”, or even “cursed bread”. The last disastrous contamination dates from 1951 in Pont-Saint-Esprit in the Gard. This had cost the lives of 7 people, and about 50 had to be interned in a psychiatric hospital. Like what, your baguette can show you pink elephants!

Product recall: how to stay informed?

This tainted bread box is the latest in a long list of return of products† Few things damage a department store’s reputation like product recalls. It is indeed a breach of the trust a consumer has in the brand. Especially since the latter base all their communication on the quality of their products and their obligations to producers. So you can imagine that a massive recall will cast doubt on its statements!

The reasons are often the the same† Usually it’s a simple labeling problem: allergenic ingredients are missing from the ingredient list, bad expiration date marking…

More seriously, some product recalls are the result of contamination during production: presence of glass, metal or plastic in the product, or contamination with microbes or viruses. In this second case, as with contaminated bread, the consequences can be very serious for the health of a large number of consumers! Supermarket brands and manufacturers do everything they can to get the message across clearly and to as many people as possible.

The Rappel Conso platform also plays a decisive role in preventing the largest possible number of consumers† You can inquire directly on their website, but also on social networks. By becoming a follower, you will be notified in real time about the latest product recalls.

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