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Heinz recalls gravy for label errors, undeclared allergens

Tuesday, November 22, 2016 23:46
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Following a consumer complaint, H.J. Heinz Co. is recalling about 5,000 pounds of bistro au jus gravy from more than 1,000 retail locations nationwide because it is incorrectly labeled as pork gravy and has undeclared allergens, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS).

The au jus gravy product contains milk and soy, known allergens, which are not declared on the incorrect labeling for pork gravy. Neither FSIS nor the Muscatine, IA-based company said why the recall, initiated on Nov. 19, went unannounced for three days.

The au jus gravy labeled incorrectly as pork gravy was produced June 4. Consumers, retailers and distributors can identify the recalled product by the following label information:

  • 558 cases each containing of one dozen 12-ounce jars of “HEINZ HOMESTYLE BISTRO AU JUS GRAVY” that is mislabeled with Homestyle Pork Gravy labels.
  • The recalled jars have “Best By 12/28/2017 MU6F04” on their caps and the cases have “Case Best By 12/28/17 MU6F04” on their labels.

The recalled products have the establishment number “M2041” in the USDA mark of inspection. These items were shipped to a distributor and to retail locations nationwide.

The problem was discovered by the company on Nov. 17 after they were notified by a customer that a jar labeled as “Heinz Homestyle Pork Gravy” looked darker than expected, according to the recall notice. The company determined the mislabeling incident occurred on June 4 when a box of labels for the company’s “Heinz  Homestyle Pork Gravy” product was taken to the processing line and used during the production and packaging of the au jus gravy.

When the company initiated the recall, they contacted all of their customers that may have received the mislabeled gravy product, including more than 1,000 retail stores, informing them to remove the products from their store shelves, according to the recall notice.

The company also provided a press release about the incident and initiation of a voluntary recall of incorrectly labelled products to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). FSIS was notified of the issue by a FDA representative on Nov. 21, 2016 and, out an abundance of caution, FSIS is issuing its own press release.

No one has yet reported illnesses or adverse reactions due to consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about a reaction should contact a healthcare provider.

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.

FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers. When available, the retail distribution lists will be posted on the FSIS website.

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