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Meat Tamales Recalled Due to Labeling Mistake

Homestead Pasta Company, based in San Francisco, has issued a recall of 144,633 pounds of frozen beef, turkey, and chicken tamale products. 

The recall was announced after the Food Safety and Inspection Service of USDA, during a routine label review, found that the products contained an allergen, namely whey, which was not noted on the package label. 

The products subject to recall include:

  • 8.5-lb. cases of “Garibaldi Beef Tamale” with each case containing 12 individual 11-oz. packages.
  • 8.5-lb. cases of “Garibaldi Turkey Tamale” with each case containing 12 individual 11-oz. packages.
  • 10.5-lb. cases of “Golden West Traditional Beef Tamale with Sauce in Husk” with each case containing 12 individual 14-oz. packages.
  • 10.5-lb. cases of “Golden West Traditional Turkey Tamale with Sauce in Husk” with each case containing 12 individual 14-oz. packages.
  • 18-lb. cases of “Casper Homestead Pasta Company Beef Tamale” with each case containing 36 individual 8-oz. packages.
  • 18-lb. cases of “Casper Homestead Pasta Company Chicken Tamale” with each case containing 36 individual 8-oz. packages.

Individual packages bear the establishment number “P-4994″ or “EST. 4994″ inside the USDA mark of inspection. 

The products subject to the recall were produced from April 2010 until January 2011 and shipped for retail sales in California, Oregon and Washington and institutional use in California.

Food allergies affect millions of Americans each year and may cause symptoms ranging from minor to life-threatening.  According to FDA, although there are more than 160 foods that can cause those reactions in people with food allergies, the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 (FALCPA) identifies the eight most common allergenic foods. 

The list includes milk, eggs, fish, Crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soybeans.  The law states that these foods “account for 90 percent of food allergies reactions.” Moreover, the eight foods listed in the statute are also the food sources from which many other ingredients are derived.

Currently, FALCPA requires that labels must clearly identify the food source names of all ingredients that are or contain any protein derived from the 8 major food allergens. 

The allergen involved in this recall, whey, is formed when curd is separated from the milk or cream. Whey makes up 20 percent of the proteins found in milk and, as such, must be identified as an ingredient on the product’s label pursuant to FALCPA. 

So far, FSIS and Homestead Pasta Company have received no reports of illness due to consumption of their tamale products which failed to list whey as an ingredient. However, USDA health officials and the company caution consumers to contact a healthcare provider if they are concerned about a possible allergic reaction to the product. 

Consumers with questions about the recall should contact the company’s customer service representative, Candace Liu, at 650-615-0750.

© Food Safety News