Editor’s note: In a related recall posted May 9, “Pick 5 Mix & Match Chicken & Waffle Sandwich” with a UPC number of 051933353664 were pulled from Save-A-Lot stores nationwide because the waffles were made in the contaminated production plant operated by Pinnacle Foods Inc.
Three days after recalling Aunt Jemima and Hungry Man brand frozen pancakes, french toast and waffles because Listeria monocytogenes was found in a production facility, Pinnacle Foods Inc. officials said 16 of the products will be discontinued.
By killing the “low-margin and non-strategic Aunt Jemima frozen breakfast products sold to retail and foodservice customers,” company officials are also killing jobs at the Jackson, TN, plant that makes them.
“The decision to exit these products now was the appropriate action for Pinnacle. It is consistent with our plans to enhance the on-going margin of the company and focus our efforts and investments on more profitable growth opportunities longer term,” Pinnacle Foods Chief Executive Officer Mark Clouse said in a news release posted on the company’s investors’ website.
“While the timing of this exit was accelerated by the voluntary recall we initiated last week, these items are low-margin, non-strategic SKUs that we expected to exit at some point in the foreseeable future.”
An employee of the Jackson, TN, production plant told WBBJ-TV Channel 7 News that company officials told employees Tuesday that at least 200 jobs would be eliminated because of the discontinuation of the Aunt Jemima products. The television news outlet reported Pinnacle officials confirmed some layoffs, but also said they plant will continue to operate.
The recall, posted on the Food and Drug Administration website and dated May 5, includes products distributed across the United States and in Canada and Mexico. Pinnacle Foods initiated the recall after testing indicated the presence of Listeria monocytogenes in the production plant environment, according to the recall notice.
No illnesses have been confirmed in connection to the recalled Aunt Jemima and Hungry Man frozen breakfast products. However, the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service posted a public warning Tuesday repeating information provided in the recall notice on the FDA website.
“Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase,” according to the USDA-FSIS warning.
The USDA-FSIS has jurisdiction over two of the recalled products because they include meat products:
- 5.5-oz. individual frozen microwavable dinners containing French toast and a pork sausage patty with “Aunt Jemima FRENCH TOAST AND SAUSAGE” printed on the label and bearing UPC code 051000063915; and
- 16-oz. individual frozen microwavable dinners containing a waffle and a fried chicken piece with “HUNGRY-MAN Selects BONELESS FRIED CHICKEN & WAFFLES” printed on the label and bearing UPC code 658276202903.
A complete list of the products recalled in the United States is available on the FDA website. Only one product was recalled in Mexico and it is listed on the FDA site.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency posted a recall of three Aunt Jemima branded products. All of the Aunt Jemima products sold by Pinnacle Foods are covered by a trademark license agreement with The Quaker Oats Co.
Anyone who has eaten any of the recalled products and developed symptoms of Listeria infection should seek medical attention and tell their doctors about the possible exposure to the pathogen.
People who have eaten the recalled products but are not sick should monitor themselves for symptoms of Listeria infection for the coming weeks because it can take up to 70 days for symptoms to develop following exposure.
Listeria monocytogenes is a microscopic organism that can cause listeriosis, a serious infection that primarily affects older adults, persons with weakened immune systems, and pregnant women and their newborns. Less commonly, persons outside these risk groups are affected
Listeriosis can cause fever, muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions sometimes preceded by diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms. An invasive infection spreads beyond the gastrointestinal tract. In pregnant women, the infection can cause miscarriages, stillbirths, premature delivery or life-threatening infection of the newborn.
In addition, serious and sometimes fatal infections can occur in older adults and persons with weakened immune systems. Listeriosis is treated with antibiotics. Persons in the higher-risk categories who experience flu-like symptoms within two months after eating contaminated food should seek medical care and tell the health care provider about eating the contaminated food.
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