If you want some idea of the complex interconnections of the packaged food industry, just try to figure out how one seemingly innocuous ingredient could lead to massive recalls of millions of units of everything from fish sticks to meatballs to chicken fingers.
The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service has announced a huge number of recalls, all apparently linked back to mislabeled bread crumbs that, unknown to the companies that used the ingredient, contained milk — a known allergen.
You may not have an allergy to milk, but hundreds of thousands of Americans do — particularly young children. According to medical reference service UpToDate, around .6% of 3-year-olds are allergic to milk, while around between .1% to .3% of adults have retained that allergy.
The largest consumer item in the recall so far by volume are cans of pasta and meatballs sold under a variety of brand names. They come to a total of 717,338 pounds of products, with most of those being Chef Boyardee brand.
Chef Boyardee mini pasta shells and meatballs: 14.75 ounce can, best by date of 12/26/18
Libby’s Spaghetti and Meatballs: 14.75 ounce can, best by date of 01/02/19
Del Pino’s Spaghetti and Meatballs: 14.75 ounce can, best by date of 01/02/19
Hy-Top Spaghetti and Meatballs: 14.75 ounce can, best by date of 01/02/19
Food Hold Spaghetti and Meatballs: 14.75 ounce can, best by date of 01/02/19
Essential Everyday Spaghetti and Meatballs: 14.75 ounce can, best by date of 01/02/19
Hannaford Spaghetti and Meatballs: 14.75 ounce can, best by date of 01/02/19
Food Club Spaghetti and Meatballs: 14.75 ounce can, best by date of 01/02/19
Foodhold USA (Giant Eagle) Spicy Chicken Strips: 10-ounce boxes. Distributed to stores in Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Virginia. If you have a question about the recall, contact Water Lilies Food at 888-387-7669.
Giant Eagle recalled chicken and poultry products, including:
Market District Toasted Crumb Tilapia: Sold March 10 – June 9, 2017
Giant Eagle Toasted Crumb Tilapia: Sold March 10 – June 9, 2017
Giant Eagle Breaded Chicken Breast: Sold June 3 – June 10, 2017
Customers are asked to throw the products away or return them to the store for a refund. Call Giant Eagle at 800-553-2324 if you have questions abot the recall.
Slade Gorton, meanwhile has recalled these fish products:
Bay Toasted Crumb Tilapia, product code 7396701
Gourmet Bay Honey Mustard Tilapia, product code 7324801
Bay Citrus Coconut Tilapia, product code 7322401
These were sold at Supervalu, Harris Teeter, Cantanese Classic Seafoods, The Fish Guys, Euro USA, Bfresh, Porky Products, and Superior Fish Company stores in the fresh products department. If you have them, check the product code before eating: You can call Slade Gorton at 800-225-1573.
While we’re a consumer-focused site, it’s worth noting that some foodservice industry products ar also part of the recall:
Advance Pierre brand chicken tenders sold in 9, 10, and 12-pound packages to food service establishments
Aldon Food Corporation chicken salad sold in 5-lb tubs to food service establishments under the brand names Block & Barrel, Market Source, Don’s Salads, and Hymie’s.
Gourmet Boutique frozen chicken cutlets
Maid-Rite beef burgers, meatballs, and salisbury steaks sold in 10-lb and 30-lb. boxes
Main Street and Packer Avenue chicken salads (5 lbs)
Pork King Irish and British style bangers, 5 and 10 pound boxes
Tyson and Spare Time brands breaded chicken fingers and patties