Encore Gourmet Food Corp

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Live Maggots found in Kitchen Spice
Posted by on
BAIE D'URFE, QUEBEC H9X 4B4 CANADA -- In early February I used up my bottle of onion flakes (kitchen spice) and got out a new bottle of Chopped onion made by Encore Gourmet Food Corp in Canada. I purchased it at Walgreens in Christiansburg last December. I was shocked to see dozens of maggots inside the bottle. The seal seemed to be intact.

I immediately contacted Encore Gourmet Food Corp in Canada by email. I sent them 4 emails over a week long period. They never responded. In the third email I suggested they contact me and tell me what numbers they wanted from the bottle so they could check batch lots or whatever and see how this happened. They never responded at all. I then posted a complaint with a picture (google encore spice maggots) on one site and one person starting responding through the site. Over several comments they seemed to have the fixation of getting me to return the spice to Walgreens (so I would not have the evidence anymore?). I then wondered if this person was with Walgreens or Encore.

I then contacted the FDA (Federal Food and Drug Administration). The FDA was very interested. They had me provide all sorts of information and got pictures and everything and contacted Encore. Encore's response was that this was impossible and claimed they had not received any emails from me.

Right about that time I was out and about quite a bit and decided to stop by all the Walgreens stores I happened to be going nearby and check their spices. In 6 Walgreens stores I found a full stock of Encore spices in every variety, except chopped onion. Those 6 stores did not have 1 bottle of chopped onion on the shelf. The 7th and last Walgreens store I looked in had an empty space on the isle where the Encore spice display had been. The entire display had been removed and was nowhere to be seen. I did provide this information to the FDA so they could investigate further.

Sure looks like a giant cover up to me.
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User Replies:
Anonymous on 03/16/2011:
Perhaps not a cover up, but a response to your complaint. They immediately recalled all chopped onion containers after your situation. You noticed an error, reported it, they fixed it. Problem solved.
Anonymous on 03/16/2011:
Far from a cover up. They ask to see the tainted problem for numerous reasons like tracking the source and to rule out fraudulent claims.

No harn no foul.

Anonymous on 03/16/2011:
The FDA allows a certain percentage of bugs and bug parts in our food. I'm more worried about what I don't see in my food
Anonymous on 03/16/2011:
umm I can understand bug parts getting in food, but this OP is saying there were more than microscopic "bug parts" in the food. I would be pretty grossed out and disgusted too. sounds like a cover up to me! Shouldn't there be warnings asking people to return their chopped onion if there was a recall?
Anonymous on 03/16/2011:
Dozens of maggots!!? Were they alive?? This would definitely not fall under the certain allowed percentage of bug parts in our food. It sounds like they responded to you, but they just didn't follow up with you. I don't think I'd call that a cover up.

Thanks for posting, I don't buy food/spices at places like Walgreens but this is a nice to know for those that do...to do a double check.
biomajor on 03/16/2011:
The gestation period for a maggot is only 1 day. If you bought this is December and opened it in February, they would no longer be maggots, but flies. They metamorph from maggots to flies in approximately 4 days.
old fart on 03/16/2011:
What the poster saw was larval casts left after the insects had hatched... I bet there are tons of flies in the factory...
biomajor on 03/16/2011:
No, OF, I went and looked at the picture and they are truly maggots. It's not the factory.
old fart on 03/16/2011:
Were the critters "live" in the container?
old fart on 03/16/2011:
I don't see any picture to compare it to... Maggots, (larvae) all look pretty much alike depending on the critter..
biomajor on 03/16/2011:
It wasn't a video, so I'm not sure if they were still moving, but they don't look very old/dead in the picture.

biomajor on 03/16/2011:
I can't think of anything that has a larval lifespan of 2 months though, well, that is that small. Most small insects have really short larval stages and really short lifespans
old fart on 03/16/2011:
Give me the web address again... I put it in like it's on the monitor and I get a no such address..
biomajor on 03/16/2011:

I hope it works this time LOL Sorry!!
old fart on 03/16/2011:
I did it and got some guy complain about trees he ordered.... oh well, I tried!
trmn8r on 03/16/2011:
The second link biomajor posted works, though I can't make heads or tails out of the picture.

The bottom line seems to be that they are looking into it. That is what you wanted, I assume.
reliablemrb on 03/24/2011:
UPDATE BY ORIGINAL POSTER: Walgreens now sells Cloverdale brand and has done away with Encore brand. Yes the maggots are alive and SQUIRMING ! A month after I discovered them they are still maggots and not flies although these could be fresh maggots which have eaten any morphed flies. I do not consider claiming non receipt to my emails and no taking care of me the customer as responding to problem or problem solved.
reliablemrb on 04/05/2011:
NEW UPDATE BY ORIGINAL POSTER: That's Deerfield brand, not Cloverdale. I believe they are located in Deerfield, IL, USA. The Christiansburg, VA Walgreens has put most of the Encore spices (no onion flakes) back on the shelf at a lower price- I didn't check the other Walgreens.
encore cinnamon on 07/23/2011:
I've also bought encore spices at Walgreens and they still sell them in south Florida. in the past I also attempted to contact them via their website to find out expiration dates since the cinnamom I had had no production or date markings. No response. On my shelf now I have two unopened bottles of ground cinnamon. one with production codes and when I opened it a plastic "safetly seal over the inside contents and the top has a flip to select sprinkle or pour. the other one just had a thin paper seal strip on the outside that I didn't notice until afer I opened and no plastic safety seal over the inside contents. this lid has no option to pour but inside afteryou take off the lid is a plastic round cover that does these functions.

bottom line, why doesn't this company lable their products properly and also reply to email correspondence. I will return them to Walgreens and shop elsewhere in the future for these products.
Linda on 06/24/2012:
I purchased a bottle of Encore Paprika Spice, Yesterday I sprinkled some into my seasoned flour for frying my chicken. I coulldn't understand why it came out in small clumps, low and behold to my amazement I saw something moving on the top of the flour looking closer I saw little red bugs walking around..I poured the mixture into my disposal with hot water and bleach to kill the bug's..When I took a closer look at the closed bottle of paprika there we're more bugs walking around with little mounds looking like eggs..I was totally grossed out..I thought about returning it back to the store where I purchased it but instead I think I will also contact the FDA..I purchased this Paprika a few months ago..
mike on 06/15/2013:
So I had a bottle of encore jalepno salt yesterday poured some on my fries and steak and I don't know if there maggots but tons of little bugs came out theseasoning was completly covered so had to be manufacturers fault there 1800 number on bottle out of service so is there really nobody to hear the complaints I'm totally afraid of bugs this just made it way worse anyone know what I could do I live in canada so we ain't got fda contact me back if so at thetallerbro@yahoo.ca
lex on 01/23/2014:
Anybody know this company is now available now? or have their contact information?
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