Nestlé has issued a recall of Philly Steak and Cheese and Croissant Crust Philly Steak and Cheese Hot Pockets.
Nestlé USA’s Prepared Foods Division has announced the voluntary recall of two Hot Pockets flavors; the Philly Steak and Cheese, and the Croissant Crust Philly Steak and Cheese, after determining that “a small quantity of meat” from the Rancho Feeding Corp. slaughterhouse had been used in creating batches of the two flavors. Rancho ceased its operations earlier in February after the U.S. Department of Agriculture discovered that the slaughterhouse had processed potentially millions of pounds of “diseased and unsound animals…unfit for human food.”
No illnesses have been reported as of yet, and Nestlé has urged consumers to return their products to their place of purchase for a full refund, or contact Nestlé directly. The contaminated products were processed between Jan. 1, 2013 and Jan. 8, 2014 before being shipped to retailers and distribution centers in California, Florida, Illinois, Oregon, Texas, and Washington. According to The Press Democrat, the recall impacts retailers in 29 states and five Canadian provinces. The USDA has posted the current list of American retailers affected by the recall.
Karen Lo is an associate editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @appleplexy.
Giant Slaughterhouse Recalls Fancy Grass-Fed Beef After Processing “Diseased and Unsound Animals”
Last month, Rancho Feeding Corp., a slaughterhouse in Petaluma, California, issued a small recall notice, for beef it had processed on a particular day in 2013. That much was routine&mdashmeat processing facilities have to pull back product with some regularity when contamination is discovered. But the Rancho recall was different: Earlier this month, the company announced that it needed to recall all the beef it processed in 2013&mdash8.7 million pounds in all, found in more than a thousand grocery stores in 30 states. The most famous of the recalled items are Nestlé Hot Pockets, but the plant produced a lot of other beef products for wholesale, including cheeks, lips, liver, oxtail, and other parts. So have you eaten any of that beef? Here’s some background:
What is Rancho Feeding Corp.? Before it ceased operations last week, Rancho Feeding Corp. was the only USDA-approved slaughterhouse within about a three-hour radius of Petaluma. According to Stephanie Larson, the livestock and range adviser at the University of California’s Cooperative Extension system, about 25 percent of Rancho’s customers were “niche market” operations&mdashmany of which raised grass-fed and organic beef. The other 75 percent of the company’s business was meat destined for burgers, tacos, chili, and other processed foods for supermarkets and restaurants. Many of Rancho’s clients were dairies seeking to slaughter cows that were no longer giving milk.
Just how much meat is 8.7 million pounds? A few years back, my colleague Tom Philpott calculated that Cargill’s 36 million pounds of recalled ground turkey was enough to make burgers for the residents of the world’s six most populous cities. By the same logic, the 8.7 million pounds of Rancho recalled beef could make burgers for every resident of New York City, London, and Tokyo. As Gwynn Guilford at Quartz points out, letting that much potentially dodgy meat slip through the cracks is what happens when the government skimps on inspectors.
Why did they recall it? According to the USDA’ s Food Safety and Inspection Service, Rancho issued the recall after FSIS inspectors determined that it had “processed diseased and unsound animals and carried out these activities without the benefit or full benefit of federal inspection.” It was a Class I recall, which means the FSIS considered it “a health hazard situation where there is a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death.” Beyond the recall notice, though, FSIS has offered few details. So far, there are no reports of people getting sick after eating tainted beef processed by Rancho.
How does the recall affect ranchers? Yesterday, the Los Angeles Times reported that Marin Sun Farms, an artisanal meat producer in Point Reyes Station, California, has bought Rancho Feeding Corp. If the company reopens the facility as a USDA-approved slaughterhouse, Rancho’s former clients will likely be relieved, since Rancho was the only game in town. (Consolidation of slaughterhouses is a problem for ranchers across the nation.)
Bill Niman, the founder of sustainable meat company Niman Ranch who now runs a grass-fed operation called BN Ranch, told the Village Voice that Rancho’s closing would be “a great loss to the Northern California food community.”
Sally Gale and her husband own Chileno Valley Ranch, a 600-acre, 100-head beef operation in Marin County that sells grass-fed beef directly to consumers. The Gales, who have owned their ranch for 15 years, used to hire a slaughterer to dispatch their steers on their property. (A few years ago, Bonne Azab Powell profiled a traveling slaughterer in Mother Jones.) But about five years ago, they received a notice saying that the practice was illegal and that they must take their animals to a USDA-certified slaughterhouse. The only one in the area was Rancho.
Because of the recall, the Gales have had to dispose of three adult steers&mdashworth about $1,600 each&mdashthat Rancho had slaughtered. If Rancho closes, Sally Gale worries that the long drive to the next closest slaughterhouse, more than 150 miles away, will stress the animals and add an extra expense to what Gale describes as an “already marginal business.” California’s drought has hit ranches like hers hard, she says, and she expects that many will have to charge their customers more to make up for the losses.
Typically, Chileno Valley Ranch sends about six cows to slaughter every week. Now, the Gales will be waiting until they have 30 ready to make the long trip worthwhile. “The government told us that we couldn’t slaughter our own meat,” says Gale. “And now they’re telling us that we can’t bring them to Rancho either.”
Hot Pockets recall: What you need to know.
Alert your college kid: There’s a recall on Hot Pockets.
Nestle USA announced Tuesday it is voluntarily recalling an unspecified number of “Philly Steak” and “Croissant Crust Philly Steak and Cheese” Hot Pockets due to the use of recalled meat.
Nestle said it determined “a small quantity” of meat from a California slaughterhouse was used in the recalled Hot Pockets. Rancho Feeding Corp. last week recalled all of its meat from 2013 after the Department of Agriculture said the 8.7 million pounds of beef produced by the facility was from ”diseased and unsound animals … without the benefit or full benefit of federal inspection.”
The Hot Pockets recall is limited to only the “Philly Steak” and “Croissant Crust Philly Steak and Cheese” products with “best before” dates ranging from March 2014 to December 2014. Consumer UPC and batch codes for the affected products are available at Nestle’s website.
No illnesses have been reported.
Consumers are advised to not consume the product and can return the recalled items to their point of purchase for a full refund, or contact Nestlé Consumer Services at (800) 392-4057.
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Hot Pockets Pulled From Shelves for Possibly Containing 'Diseased and Unsound Animals' and Consumers Are Not Amused
Hot Pockets parent company Nestlé issued a recall of several types of Hot Pocket products Tuesday after it was revealed that some of the meat used in making the products could have come from "diseased and unsound animals," according to the USDA.
"Rancho Feeding Corporation issued a recall of its beef last week which affects many food companies. We have determined that only our HOT POCKETS® brand Philly Steak and Cheese in three different pack sizes and HOT POCKETS® brand Croissant Crust Philly Steak and Cheese, in the two pack box, have been affected by this recall. No other batches, sizes, including multi-packs, or varieties of HOT POCKETS® brand products are affected," noted to company in a post on the product's Facebook page.
"If you have purchased the affected batches of HOT POCKETS® brand Philly Steak and Cheese please do not consume it, but instead return it to the place of purchase for a full refund or contact our consumer services at 800-392-4057. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you," it ended.
Consumers of the products have been reacting swiftly to the announcement and many have already complained about getting sick.
"I have diarrhea and stomach aches, if this condition gets worse you guys will pay!" noted consumer Rob Rillo on the Hot Pockets Facebook page Wednesday.
"All your meat is garbage meat. Please stop acting like this recall is some unusual extraordinary circumstance. NO IT'S NOT JUST THE 'PHILLY CHEESESTEAK' PEOPLE," wrote Josh Aman.
"My son eats hot pockets almost every day at work. He had the cheesesteak and has been sick for a few days. What should he do? Obviously, he doesn't have the packages/boxes any longer. Please advise," noted concerned mother, Denice DeMichele.
Certain Hot Pockets Recalled Because of Contaminated Meat
Check your freezers, ladies. If you find Hot Pockets in the Philly Steak and Cheese variety (any size) or a 2-pack of Croissant Crust Philly Steak and Cheese, don't eat 'em. Nestlé USA, the products' manufacturer, recalled these frozen foods on Tuesday. The meat inside them may have come from Rancho Feeding Corp., a site that was processing meat from "diseased and unsound animals," according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service.
Nestlé claims they didn't buy meat directly from Rancho, but they may have purchased "a small quantity" from a middle man who did. Although the potentially harmful animal products originated in Petaluma, CA, they may have been stuffed into Hot Pockets sold across the nation. Luckily, no illnesses from these sandwiches have been reported at this time.
Before you toss all your Hot Pockets, check Nestlé's site for the UPC codes and best-before dates to see if your groceries are part of the voluntary recall. Got a bad box (or two&hellipor five) in your stash? Nestlé says you can return them to the store from which you bought them for a full refund, or contact the company's consumer services line: 800-392-4057.
Do you have any of the affected Hot Pockets? Do you eat other kinds of Hot Pockets?
Nestle says a small quantity of meat from Rancho was used at a California production facility that makes Hot Pockets.
If you have any of the recalled Hot Pockets, Nestle warns customers not to consume them but to return them to the store for a full refund.
Those with the Hot Pockets can call the company customer service line at 800-392-4057.
Philly cheese steak with a croissant crust was also recalled because it might contain 'diseased' animals
The Rancho Feeding Corp in Petaluma, California recalled 8.7 pounds of beef products
Hot Pockets recalled, may contain "diseased and unsound animals"
By Lindsay Abrams
Published February 19, 2014 10:27PM (UTC)
Nestlé is recalling certain varieties of Hot Pockets after learning they've potentially been stuffed with "diseased and unsound animals."
The company is voluntarily pulling the product from the shelves as part of a massive USDA recall of 8.7 million pounds of meat processed by Rancho Feeding Corp. The meat in question, per the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, is "unsound, unwholesome or otherwise are unfit for human food and must be removed from commerce." According to Nestlé, a "small quantity" of that meat may have made its way into the Hot Pockets produced at its California facility.
The affected products are Hot Pockets brand Philly Steak and Cheese in three different pack sizes, and Hot Pockets brand Croissant Crust Philly Steak and Cheese in the two-pack box (more details on the specific batch numbers here). Other flavors -- Ham & Cheese, Meatballs & Mozzarella, Bacon Cheddar Cheese Melt, etc. -- are safe.
And don't worry, Jim Gaffigan, who made his comedy career on jokes at microwave snacks' expense, is already on it:
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Processed meats recalled over concerns they contained rubber and metal pieces
According to the Washington Post, between January and December of 2019, there were 34 recalls of processed meats suspected of containing things they weren't supposed to contain. Tyson Foods was responsible for five of them, according to Modern Farmer. The first was in January, of more than 36,000 pounds of frozen chicken nuggets that consumers complained were contaminated with pieces of rubber. The next was in March and involved over 69,000 pounds of various flavors of frozen breaded chicken strips in which consumers, who included school children and prison inmates (via Modern Farmer), found pieces of metal. On May 4, 2019, another 11,829,517 more pounds of Tyson's frozen, ready-to-eat chicken products were recalled under suspicion they contained metal these had been exported to Hong Kong, Bermuda, and St. Maarten.
On June 7, 2019, Tyson recalled over 190,000 pounds of chicken fritters sold to school cafeterias, due to "hard plastic" contamination, as reported by schools, which had purchased the fritters for their cafeterias. Finally, more extraneous materials were found in Weaver chicken patties, manufactured by Tyson, in August 2019, although it's unclear what those materials were. However, it's worth noting that all five of these recalls was at a Class 1 level, meaning "there is a reasonable probability that the use of or exposure to a violative product will cause serious adverse health consequences or death" (via the FDA).
Hot Pockets Recalls 8 Million Pounds of Meat Due to “Diseased and Unsound Animals”
Last year saw a great number of widely publicized instances of food fraud and general nastiness when it came to the various items many of us regularly put in our bodies. From “fake tuna,” to rat meat in the streets of Shanghai, to alcohol in New Jersey diluted with “river water,” the list was seemingly endless.
While 2014 has been off to a slow start, it appears the corporate food industry in America is trying to make up for lost time. According to a news release from the USDA on Valentine’s Day titled: “California Firm Recalls Unwholesome Meat Products Produced Without the Benefit of Full Inspection,” we discover that:
WASHINGTON, Feb. 14, 2014 – Rancho Feeding Corporation, a Petaluma, Calif. establishment, is recalling approximately 8,742,700 pounds, because it processed diseased and unsound animals and carried out these activities without the benefit or full benefit of federal inspection . Thus, the products are adulterated, because they are unsound, unwholesome or otherwise are unfit for human food and must be removed from commerce, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.
Oh, and by the way, this is a Class I recall. What does that mean?
Basically if you live California, Florida, Illinois, Oregon, Texas and Washington you should stay away from Hot Pockets.
Scratch that. You should stay away from Hot Pockets no matter where you live. Forever.