Federal officials on Friday posted a public health alert regarding certain Hungry Man frozen dinners because of concerns about Salmonella contamination of whey powder used to make them. One day earlier, Flowers Foods Inc. recalled swiss roll desserts from stores nationwide because Salmonella was found in whey powder used in their production.
Government officials had not received any reports of confirmed illnesses in relation to the frozen chicken dinners that were produced by Pinnacle Foods Inc., according to the alert from USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). There is concern that consumers who have already purchased the implicated chicken dinners may still have them in their freezers.
The recall notice posted on the Flowers Foods corporate website reported the company had not received reports of any illnesses related to the multiple brands of swiss rolls it recalled this week.
“The whey powder is an FDA-regulated product that is being voluntarily recalled by the producer, Associated Milk Producers Inc.,” according to the FSIS health alert about the Hungry Man frozen dinners.
“Additional FSIS-regulated products containing the recalled whey powder may be added to this public health alert as more information becomes available.”
The frozen Hungry Man “Chipotle BBQ Sauced Boneless Chicken Wyngz” microwave dinners are under USDA jurisdiction because they contain poultry.
The FSIS reported the problem was discovered July 17 when Pinnacle Foods Inc. received notice from its supplier that the recalled whey powder ingredient was used in ranch dressing seasoning supplied to the firm. The ranch dressing seasoning was used in mashed potatoes that are included in the Hungry Man chicken dinners.
As of Friday night, it did not appear that any recalls regarding the whey powder had been posted by the Food and Drug Administration. Also, the recall of the swiss roll deserts had not yet been included in the FDA’s recall postings. Associated Milk Producers Inc. did not have any mention of the whey powder recall on its website.
Generally, food ingredient producers do not publicly announce recalls of their products. Rather, they are allowed to notify their customers privately. The FDA does not, as a general practice, reveal such information because of concerns about “confidential corporate information” referred to frequently as CCI.
Consumers can identify the Hungry Man dinners that are the subject of the FSIS public health alert by looking for the following label information:
15.25-oz. individual frozen microwavable dinners with “HUNGRY MAN CHIPOTLE BBQ SAUCED BONELESS CHICKEN WYNGZ” printed on the label and a “best-buy” date of 9/6/19 and the establishment number “EST. P138” or “P-138” on the side of the carton.
“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 FSIS public alert.
Advice to consumers
Anyone who has eaten any of the implicated Hungry Man frozen chicken dinners and developed symptoms of Salmonella infection should seek medical attention and tell their doctors about the possible exposure to the bacteria.
Although people of any age can be infected by Salmonella, infants, children, seniors and those with weakened immune systems are at higher risk of serious illness that can result in hospitalization and life-long complications.
Symptoms of a Salmonella infection, called salmonellosis, typically start 6 to 72 hours after exposure to the bacteria, but in some people it takes two weeks for symptoms to develop. Symptoms include fever, chills, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, headache, nausea and vomiting. The symptoms usually last for four to seven days.
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