Health experts warn foods at home could bring more risk to a Thanksgiving season already disrupted by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
The holiday will already look different for many as the US reaches a staggering coronavirus death toll of more than 255,000 and experts warn that traveling for gatherings will likely increase spread.
And with problems ranging from lack of re-inspection to possible contamination, the United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has issued public health alerts for four food products this month as potential hazards.
“FSIS is concerned that some product may be in consumers’ refrigerators. Anyone concerned about an illness should contact a health care provider,” a public health alert said, adding that the products falling under the recalls should not be consumed.
Chicken and beef samosas
On Saturday, FSIS issued a public health alert for chicken and beef samosa products containing spring roll pastries that have been recalled by the manufacturer, Tee Yih Jia (TYJ) Food Manufacturing.
The alert stems from misbranding and an undeclared allergen, the alert said. A recall has not been issued because the Food and Drug Administration is still investigating the pastry. There have been no reports of adverse effects.
The chicken and beef samosas items were produced from November 11, 2019 through November 11, 2020 and have establishment number “EST. 44163” or “P-44163” inside the USDA mark of inspection, the alert said. They were shipped to California, New York and Texas.
Chicken and pork tamales
Some ready-to-eat chicken and pork tamales were recalled on November 15 after Tucson Tamale Wholesale Co. found pieces of hard plastic in cans of diced tomatoes in puree from an ingredients supplier, the recall said.
“The hard plastic may pose a choking hazard or cause damage to teeth or gums,” the recall said, although no confirmed reports of adverse reactions from consumption have been reported.
The recall applies to packages of pork and chicken green chile “Tucson Tamales” which were produced between October 22, 2020 and November 9, 2020 with the establishment number “EST. 45860,” the recall said.
The tamales were distributed nationwide.
The ingredients supplier recalled the diced tomatoes in puree in coordination with the FDA.
FSIS issued a public health alert for beef stock products that were not presented for import re-inspection into the US.
Wegmans Beef Culinary Stock No Salt Added was imported around November 5, and the alert was issued the next week.
Though there have been no adverse reactions reported from consumption of the 32-oz containers with codes 25MAR2022 and 26MAR2022 on the label, the FSIS said the products should be thrown away or returned to the store from which they were purchased.
The items were sent to New York, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, according to the alert.
Spaghetti and meatballs
Earlier in the month, FSIS issued an alert for 15.5 oz plastic containers of “Take Home Meals Spaghetti & Meatballs in Marinara Sauce.”
The alert cautions that the food may be contaminated with metal. The Kwik Trips, Inc. products were found by some consumers to have pieces embedded in the meatballs, according to the alert.
The alert applies to products with 10/17/20 to 11/1/20 packaging dates and 10/25/20 to 11/9/20 expiration dates on the product labels. The items, with the establishment number “EST. 20852,” were shipped to Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
The product was not recalled because they are no longer available for purchase, but officials worry they will be eaten by customers who have already purchased them.