Chicken is the kind of ingredient most people have in their kitchen simply because it’s so versatile. It can provide the protein you need on your plate as an add-on to salads, part of the medley in a stir fry, or be the main star of your dish covered in whatever type of sauce or seasoning you prefer. It’s so useful that many people will pick up some poultry whenever they do a grocery run just to make sure they have some on hand. But before you go to make your next meal, officials warn that over 6,000 pounds of chicken are being recalled after being sold at Walmart in 29 states. Read on to find out which products are affected and what you should do if you have any in your freezer.
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On Dec. 15, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced that Boise, Idaho-based Mountain View Packaging, LLC had issued a recall for 6,103 pounds of frozen, ready-to-eat Crispy Chicken with Almonds entrée products.
The items are packaged in 18.5 oz containers and labeled as “INNOVASIAN Crispy Chicken with Almonds ENTREE” on the front of the box. They can also be identified by the lot code 22321-1, UPC 695119120499, and the best-by date of 05/24/2023 printed on the packaging.
Even though the items were shipped to retail locations nationwide, Walmart also announced that they had been sent to its stores across 29 states listed in a 23-page document posted on the recall section of its website.
The list includes more than 1,300 locations in Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
The FSIS notice states that the company pulled the frozen dish from shelves after discovering it contained shellfish—a known food allergen—that is not declared on the product’s label. Mountain View Packaging says it first became aware of the issue when it received a customer complaint that their product labeled as Crispy Chicken with Almonds entrée actually contained shrimp.
In 2004, Congress passed the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) which established eight major food allergens—including shellfish—that “accounted for 90 percent of food allergies and serious allergic reactions in the U.S.,” according to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA). The law requires all packaging to declare the presence of such allergens in products, which also include milk, eggs, fish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soybeans.
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According to the recall notice, there have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions to the product so far. But as the agency is concerned the recalled frozen chicken might still be in people’s freezers, FSIS is advising anyone who may have purchased the items not to consume them. Instead, they should throw them out or return them to their place of purchase immediately.
The agency also says anyone who is concerned about a health issue related to the frozen food item should contact their doctor or healthcare provider right away. Those with questions can also contact the company via a hotline posted on the recall notice.
Even though the latest recall may be widespread, it’s far from the only recent case of frozen food getting pulled from shelves. On Oct. 26, Michigan-based Zingerman’s Creamery pulled its seasonal Paw Paw Gelato and Harvest Pumpkin Gelato from stores. The company said it discovered the items might contain undeclared egg due to “human error of mislabeling” that posed a potentially serious health threat to some customers.
On Nov. 9, FSIS announced that Menu19 LLC had recalled just over 5,000 pounds of frozen beef dumpling products. The agency said its 1.5-pound cartons with 12 pieces of “Mantu menu 19” were produced “without the benefit of federal inspection” and lacked a USDA mark of inspection on their packaging, making them unsuitable for consumption.
And most recently, on Dec. 3, the FDA announced that James Farms had issued a recall on 1,260 cases of frozen raspberries sold across nine states. In this case, the company said it pulled the product after it discovered the frozen raspberries could be contaminated with hepatitis A. The agency advised anyone who purchased the affected item to throw it away or return it to its place of purchase for a full refund.