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Millions of pounds of chicken tenders, sausage, pasta recalled after an alarming discovery

What to do if you think you have a recalled product

There are many numbers and dates on the foods, drugs, cosmetics, and other products we use every day. Some help manufacturers track inventory, while others help retailers ensure quality. But when unsafe products must be removed from the market, th
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There are many numbers and dates on the foods, drugs, cosmetics, and other products we use every day. Some help manufacturers track inventory, while others help retailers ensure quality. But when unsafe products must be removed from the market, th

One mistake by one ingredient supplier has caused nine USDA high-health risk recalls and at least one recall from a supermarket chain. Those recalls cover at least 3.7 million pounds of food products, some of which went to schools.

All because of breadcrumbs.

A supplier — which none of the recalling companies named — notified several food producers last week that milk had been used in a run of breadcrumbs, but hadn’t been among the listed ingredients. Without knowing the breadcrumbs contained milk, a food company wouldn’t list milk on the label unless it’s in other ingredients.

To those with milk allergies, that could be a devastating omission, leading to the the Class I recall designation. A Class I recall is defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as “a health hazard situation where there is a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death.”

When a product is released with an allergen not listed among the ingredients, recalls generally follow. Four of the FDA’s 10 food recalls over the last two weeks, for example, were for undeclared items such as egg, pecans and tree nuts, milk and walnuts. Food producers don’t want to be linked to even one consumer’s allergic reaction.

Which is why Tyson Foods recalled about 2.5 million pounds of breaded chicken patties and fritters sold to institutions such as schools around the nation.

The recalls of Pork King’s Irish-Style Bangers, Maid-Rite beef products, Packer Avenue chicken salad, Advance Pierre’s chicken tenders, Aldon Foods white meat chicken salad, and Gourmet Boutique’s chicken cutlets also cover products that went to institutional locations or are sold in bulk to hotels and restaurants.

Food colossus Conagra recalled 700,125 pounds of pasta and meatball products with pork, chicken and beef in tomato sauce in 14.75-ounce cans from the brands Libby’s, Chef Boyardee, Del Pino’s, Hy-Top, Food Hold and Essential Everyday. The use-by dates are Jan. 2, 2019, for all except Chef Boyardee, which is Dec. 26, 2018.

Just as Publix usually beats the rush on many-tentacled national recalls involving its products, Southeastern Grocers announced a recall of Winn-Dixie Italian Style Panko Breadcrumbs in eight-ounce packages half a day before any of the USDA recalls were announced. The best-by dates on the breadcrumbs are Aug. 18, 2018, and Oct. 18, 2018.

The other recall of a food product was Water Lilies Foods’ 10-ounce boxes of Spicy Chicken Strips with establishment number P-21465A sold in Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Virginia.

David J. Neal: 305-376-3559, @DavidJNeal

Details from the US Department of Agriculture on the recall.

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