Talk about a choking hazard you may need to worry about: Deli meat is being recalled for possible plastic pieces inside and don't freak out, but do check your refrigerator.
As NBC 4 New York reported, over 13,000 pounds of Sahlen Packing Company, Inc.'s ready-to-eat deli meat products are being pulled from grocery shelves after concerns surfaced about the possibility of extra materials — including plastic — inside the sandwich meat.
The recall was announced Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service in regards to deli ham produced on Jan. 25 by the company, whose headquarters are in Buffalo, New York.
The food products in question are all packaged with the following information: "MARKET 32 BY PRICE CHOPPER BLACK FOREST HAM with natural juices caramel color added 97% FAT FREE," accompanied with a sell-by date of April 8, 2019, the USDA noted in its press release.
The whole hams that are involved have a USDA inspection number of EST. 5155, the FSIS said, which detailed that the items were shipped to markets in New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont.
NBC 4 noted that there have been no confirmed reports of people becoming ill due to the Sahlen deli meats in question, which is good news. But it's still important to pay attention to any deli meat you have in your refrigerator, just in case.
Romper reached out to Sahlen Packing Company, Inc. for comment and is awaiting a reply.
Although this is an alarming development, it's far from the first time such a thing has happened. Bacteria and contaminants that can cause foodborne illness have forced recalls in the past, as have the presence of items in food.
This kind of stuff is really scary, especially if you're like me and assume that if you try to buy from brands and stores that you trust, and you try your best to make healthy choices and opt for the organic version when you can afford to and when you have a second to think about it, you'll be OK. Unfortunately, recalls can still happen.
According to Eating Well magazine, there are many big-picture things that could be done to make our food supply safer, from changing agricultural regulations regarding large meat and poultry farms to buying from local food growers and, perhaps most significantly, increasing our national standards of regulation.
The Olean Times Herald newspaper in Olean, New York noted that buyers who purchased these products should not consume them, but rather throw them out or return the items to the place of purchase.
In the meantime, consumers who have any questions regarding the deli meats currently in question should not hesitate to reach out: Consumers with questions about the recall can contact Sahlen Packaging Company, Inc. at (716) 852-8677 or reach out to the FSIS virtual representative available 24 hours a day at AskKaren.gov or via smartphone at m.askkaren.gov, the USDA added, offering a toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 888-674-6854 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday.