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The snack was developed by commodities trader Robert Ehrlich. He would often watch people purchasing Cheese Puffs in a local supermarket. The snack, Ehrlich explained, did not have "any real cheese in them...most of the ingredients you couldn't even pronounce."
The snack is made with natural ingredients and cheese. The snack is sometimes marketed as a healthy alternative to other snack foods.
Robert's has also marketed a number of other similar products, including a low carbohydrate version called Girlfriend's Booty, Simply Booty Vegan, the fruit-based Fruity Booty, Moon Chips, Pirate's Swag Granola and Trail Mix, Tings, Smart Puffs and the vegetable-based Veggie Booty.
In 2007, Roberts American Gourmet purchased vegetable seasoning from a domestic supplier as a component ingredient used in the company's Pirate's Booty Veggie snack. The supplier provided Robert's American Gourmet with a Certificate of Analysis, which included microbiological analysis verifying the products safety to be used as an ingredient. Nonetheless, without Robert's American Gourmet's knowledge, the lot of seasoning shipped into the processing plant was, in fact, contaminated with salmonella.
As soon as Robert's American Gourmet was informed, the company, in conjunction with the FDA and various States Departments of Agriculture, immediately recalled all affected product and accounted for all product that was in the market.
Following the recall, Robert's American Gourmet took other corrective actions to help prevent any reoccurrence of the issue, including bolstering the company's existing testing regimen with independent testing of Robert's American's approved vendors to validate the Certificates of Analysis of product safety.
- Forbes Small Business Magazine: "Ay, matey, Pirate's Booty hopes mascot sells snacks." Carlye Adler, 12 October 2006. URL accessed 28 December 2006.
- Rutland Herald: "Does organic label mean it's better for us?" Liz Kim, 22 November 2006. URL accessed 28 December 2006.
- Amazon.com: Robert's American Gourmet Snacks. URL accessed 28 December 2006.
- Reuters. "FDA recalls Veggie Booty snacks" 29 June 2007. URL accessed 29 June 2007.