For some of us, it’s second nature to throw frozen products in the grocery cart, as well as proteins or veggies to freeze for later use. Now with the holidays so near, you might be stocking up on different meat or poultry items to save yourself a trip to the supermarket, but if your freezer is full, you’ll want to check what’s in it. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) just issued a warning about one beef product that’s now subject to recall. Read on to find out which item the regulatory agency is warning you not to eat.
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Meat and poultry recalls are, unfortunately, quite common, and the most recent recall is just one of many the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has published over the past few months.
In late October, Foster Farms pulled roughly 148,000 pounds of fully cooked frozen chicken breast patty products, due to potential contamination. Customers reported the presence of “hard clear plastic” in the patties, which were sold at Costco stores in Arizona, California, Colorado, Utah, and Washington. Consumers were instructed not to eat the chicken patties, and retailers were also urged not to sell them.
In September, the FSIS announced that Behrmann Meat and Processing Inc. recalled 87,382 pounds of its ready-to-eat meat products. Affected products were potentially contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, which can cause a severe infection known as listeriosis. Similar to the chicken patties, consumers with these meat products were asked not to eat them and to throw them away or return them instead.
The latest recall affects yet another meat product with beef as a key ingredient.
If you tend to stock up on frozen foods you can zap in the microwave when you’re short on time, you’ll want to pay attention to a new FSIS warning.
On Nov. 9, the FSIS announced that Menu19 LLC is recalling just over 5,000 pounds of frozen beef dumpling products, namely 1.5-pound cartons that contain 12 pieces of “Mantu menu19,” per the FSIS release.
Mantu dumplings are a savory Afghan specialty, according to the recipe website Taste Of The Place. “By tradition, mantu dumplings are filled with ground beef meat, minced onions and seasonings,” the packaging of the recalled product reads.
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The FSIS issued the High Class 1 safety alert for dumplings made between Nov. 2020 and Oct. 23, 2022, as they were produced “without the benefit of federal inspection.” These inspections are part of FSIS’ “food safety mission,” conducted to ensure that meat, poultry, and egg products comply with domestic industry and food safety regulatory requirements.
As such, the recalled beef dumplings lack a USDA mark of inspection on the packaging, which the FSIS notes is because “Menu19 LLC is not a federally inspected establishment.” The agency discovered the issue during a routine surveillance check in retail stores, where the inspection label was found to be missing.
Per the FSIS safety alert, the dumplings were shipped to approximately 30 retailers in California—a full list can be found linked in the recall announcement.
To date, there have been no reports of adverse reactions linked to the beef dumplings, but the FSIS asks that you contact your doctor or healthcare provider if you have concerns about a reaction.
The agency also instructs consumers to check their freezers for any recalled products, which can be identified using the universal product code (UPC) of 86000524010. If you do have the beef dumplings, don’t eat them, the FSIS warns. The agency requests that you either throw them away or return them to the store you purchased them from.
If you have questions connected to the recall, you can contact Naim Shahab of Menu19, whose contact information can be found in the recall announcement. If you have questions about food safety, you can contact the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 888-674-6854 or use the live chat feature, Ask USDA, between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.