If you don't check your supplies carefully, you might be getting an added (and unwanted) ingredient in your spaghetti dinner. Add Hunts to the list of recent recalls and get ready to order some take out, because you aren't going to want to cook anything after reading this. Conagra recalled Hunts tomato paste due to a potential mold contamination, so make sure you check your pantry, as well as the bottom of any cans you may be using.
Conagra Brands, the parent company of Hunts, is voluntarily recalling some Hunt's Tomato Paste No Salt Added 6-ounce cans with the best buy date of October 16, 2020, as well as these codes, according to CBS News:
Item Description: HNT PSTE TOM NSA 12/6Z
Case UPC: 00-0-27000-38809-9
Item UPC: 00-0-27000-38807-5
Case Batch/Lot Code: 5291902510
Item Batch/Lot Code: 2105902510
Though Conagra declined to comment directly, they linked to the press release dated April 4 announcing the recall.
The brand is currently working with the FDA to make sure all the affected cans are off store shelves and that shipping of the affected product stops immediately, the company said in a statement, per the Associated Press. To date, no other Hunts products have been affected, according to the company's statement. So if you have Hunts tomatoes, tomato sauce, or anything else in your pantry that might be headed into a sauce pot, that should be OK to use.
It's possible that after the canning process, the cans were damaged, which allowed mold to form in the product, according to the FDA. The cans included in the voluntary recall were distributed within the United States.
Consumers are urged to return the affected product to the store where they purchased it, or throw it away. Since there might be mold within the cans, you definitely don't want to chance it and try to use a can anyway. Any questions can be directed to Conagra Brands customer service department. You can call them at (800) 280-0301. The customer service department is open 9 a.m. through 5 p.m. ET, or you can visit the company's website to get in touch.
Ingesting mold can potentially cause some pretty uncomfortable or frustrating side effects, particularly if you're allergic to mold. Though you might not experience anything in particular after ingesting mold if your immune system is strong, if you have a mold allergy or have a compromised immune system, it could be a different story. You might experience things like irritated eyes, a scratchy throat, or discomfort in your nose, according to Thrillist. However, one of the issues with eating mold is that mold can make mycotoxins, which can cause real problems if you eat a lot of them or have eaten quite a bit over time, as Michael Aranda, the host of SciShow on YouTube, explained in a video.
Not really something that you want to be eating, if you can avoid it.
Remember, you can always make your own tomato sauce. Just make sure you check the paste first.
Editor's Note: This post has been updated to include a link to Conagra's press release announcing the recall.