When you go grocery shopping, you trust that the items on the shelf have been properly vetted to ensure safety. That’s true, of course, but sometimes products do fall through the cracks and become subject to recall. For those of us who purchase meat and poultry products, food safety is particularly concerning, as tainted meat can contain harmful bacteria such as Salmonella, Listeria, and E. coli. But now, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has issued a warning about a different kind of contamination in one food manufacturer’s meat products. Read on to find out what items you’ll want to throw away immediately.
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Food recalls are put in place to ensure consumer safety, and unfortunately, they happen more often than we’d like. Lakeside Refrigerated Services, for example, voluntarily recalled over 120,800 pounds of ground beef products on April 25, due to potential contamination with E. coli 0103. Later that week, on April 29, another voluntary recall was issued, this time for ready-to-eat (RTE) chicken breast fillets from Wayne Farms, LLC. Approximately 30,285 fillets were recalled, as they were potentially undercooked. The products were sold primarily to restaurants, but the issue was discovered when a customer complained about the RTE chicken product that appeared to be undercooked. While bacterial contamination is concerning for consumers, so are other forms of contamination, which have affected another brand of RTE products.
On May 18, the FSIS announced that America New York Ri Wang Food Group Co., Ltd. had voluntarily recalled 14,635 pounds of RTE sausage sticks and luncheon loaf products. According to the announcement, the products may be contaminated with “extraneous materials,” noting metal specifically. As they were ready to eat, the sausages were fully cooked and not shelf stable, according to the recall announcement, and the packaging instructs consumers to keep the products refrigerated.
Concerns arose when the FSIS received a complaint from a consumer, who reported that they had found two metal pieces in one of the RTE sausage sticks. Now, the food safety agency is concerned about the product potentially being stored in other consumers’ refrigerators and freezers.
While there have not been any confirmed reports of injuries or adverse reactions, consumers are instructed not to eat these products. Instead, the FSIS asks that you throw them away or return them to your place of purchase.
Both the RTE sausage sticks and luncheon loaf products were produced between April 5, 2022, and May 5, 2022. If you have bought one of these items recently, be sure to check if they are part of the recall.
The recalled luncheon loaves were packaged individually in 16-ounce plastic bags. The products had a Use/Refreeze by date of Nov. 11, 2022, and lot numbers of 422094 and 422110. Recalled sausage sticks were sold in 23-ounce plastic bags, containing 10 sausage sticks, and 10-ounce plastic bags, containing four sausage sticks, both of which had a Use/Refreeze by date of Nov. 13, 2022. The 23-ounce bags had numbers of 422102, 422112, 422116, 522122, and 522124, while the 10-ounce bags listed lot numbers of 422094, 422102, 422112, 422116, 422119, 522122, and 522123.
If you have any questions regarding the recall, the FSIS recommends contacting Alice Zheng, of the America New York Ri Wang Food Group Co., at 631-231-8999. For food safety questions, you can also contact the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 888-MPHotline or live chat the agency using the Ask USDA, which is in operation from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday. If you experienced a problem with a meat, poultry, or egg products, the agency asks that you report it via the online Electronic Consumer Complaint Monitoring System, which is accessible 24 hours a day.