Plagued by recalls, the American consumer is finding it hard to put food on the table. Nestlé – the company which in 2001 recalled infant formula and just last month made headlines on 7Online for having to recall Pure Life drinking water – is currently again in the news with ABC 7 for recalling one of their Lean Pocket products.
Pieces of Plastic in Frozen Lean Pockets Prompt Recall
Check your freezer. If you purchased nine ounce boxes of Lean Pocket’s Spinach Artichoke Chicken sandwiches you might want to read on. If the “best before” date on your box of Lean Pockets is 11-2009 and there is an embossed number P7721A on the side flap, you are holding one of the recalled packs. The company invites question about the recall by urging consumers to call the Nestlé Consumer Services Center at (800) 350-5016.
How Safe Is the Food in Your Grocer’s Freezer?
By the wayside goes the USDA’s 07-11-08 news release that simply states that the USDA is going to publish the names of stores that receive tainted meat products. Missing from that list are distributors of tainted meats, restaurants, and institutions using meat during meal preparation for clients or consumers.
The downfall of this system is obvious: the listing will be issued three to 10 business days after the initial recall makes it through the USDA’s system, leaving some serious lag time during which consumers might be harmed. An additional problem emerges when you consider the fact that the FDA – an entity separate from the USDA – seized pet food products from a PETCO distribution center in June of this year for unsanitary practices. A 06-18-08 press release details the operation.
Failure to inform consumers of distribution center for their meats could indeed contribute to a problem in the future. Additionally, it prevents educated consumers from adequately weighing their options when it comes to purchasing a food item that might have been distributed by a company known to have handled contaminated meats or other products. Even as this might not completely prevent food borne illnesses from spreading, there is a good chance that self regulation of distributors is going to make a lot more impact on the ultimate handling of foods and also their sourcing.