September 28, 2007

Starlac Powdered Milk

Every week the news seems to bring a new food recall to our attention. Even pet food isn't exempt.

I hate it when a product that I use is recalled because the recall and all the details seem to forever linger in the back of my mind. It's rather irrational on my part, as the problem is usually corrected, but sometimes it will take years for the memory to fade before I trust a brand enough to start buying it again.

For years I have fed my cats a nationally known brand of prescription cat food. Although one variety of this brand was recalled, the variety I use was never on any of the recall lists. I became extremely uncomfortable about using this product because it seemed that my cats did exhibit a few of the symptoms listed. The fact that the company began selling a reformulated product shortly afterward only intensified my discomfort despite the manufacturer assuring me that the new food had been in the works for some time.

Honestly, I can't make myself believe them. I'm not a marketing expert, but it seems to me that this was a very bad time to introduce a reformulated product when you didn't have to. So now the perception I have, justified or not, is that they may not have been as truthful as I would have hoped.

The product advertised in the recipe brochure that I chose today was associated with a product safety recall in 1966.

Starlac was the brand name of the powdered milk sold by Borden's from the early 1950s to the mid-1960s. It was sold in several different sizes ranging from individual pre-measured 1 quart packets to a 12 quart economy size.

New Recipes for Completely New Super Starlac (undated, foldout) was one of several recipe brochures featuring the Starlac product that was published during this time period.

Borden's advertising proclaimed that Super Starlac was "quicker than instant" and that their modern new "hearts of milk" dissolved faster than other products using crystals and powder, which Borden's now deemed to be "old-fashioned".

A voluntary recall in 1966 because of the possibility of salmonella bacteria contamination along with the associated negative publicity is what caused the demise of the Starlac brand of powdered milk. The brand never recovered due to the erosion of public confidence in the product.

Since the brochure is not dated, I am left to wonder if Completely New Super Starlac was an attempt to salvage the public perception of the brand and to regain consumer confidence.

Below is a recipe from the brochure which is similar to those you will find for an Orange Julius. Since Starlac no longer available, you could substitute any brand of powdered milk.


(Makes 4 large servings)

1/4 cup frozen orange-juice concentrate, thawed
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup crushed ice
1 quart liquid Super Starlac, chilled

Combine orange-juice concentrate and honey in large pitcher; add crushed ice. Blend in liquid Super Starlac. Serve.

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At 1:50 AM CDT, Blogger RochelleR said...

I work in a pet dept. and during the height of the pet food recalls we received an incredible amount of phone calls and customer inquires each shift. Pets are definitly members of our families.


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