Tuna giants Bumble Bee and Chicken of the Sea voluntarily recalled thousands of cans of tuna last week, possibly making any mothers packing their kids tuna fish sandwiches worry. Customers might be (understandably) concerned after hearing the news, leading them to question why the tuna recall was issued for Bumble Bee and Chicken of the Sea in the first place.
There's no real cause for alarm, however. As it turns out, the recall was issued after a routine inspection revealed a malfunctioning piece of equipment in a single facility, according to Fortune. The malfunction could have potentially led to undercooked food. As the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) explained in a statement, "These deviations were part of the commercial sterilization process and could result in contamination by spoilage organisms or pathogens."
The malfunction took place in Chicken of the Sea's production facility in Georgia. Since Chicken of the Sea acts as a third-party supplier for Bumble Bee, both companies were affected by the incident. "[The malfunctioning machinery part has been replaced, and the proper functionality of the machine verified," John DeBeer, Chicken of the Sea's vice president of Quality and Compliance, told CNN last week.
In online statements, both Bumble Bee and Chicken of the Sea warned that illnesses associated with under-processed products could be life-threatening. However, there haven't been any reported illnesses associated with the recall, and in an online statement, Bumble Bee wrote, "The recall is being initiated out of an abundance of caution."
If you're wondering which tuna to keep and which to toss, there's some easy guidelines. The recall only affects some of the two companies' tuna, all of them 5-ounce cans of chunk light tuna in water or oil. The Food and Drug Administration lists UPC codes and best-by dates for the affected products of both Bumble Bee Foods and Chicken of the Sea. So if you've recently bought a can or two — or, you know, stocked up in case of the apocalypse, I'm not judging — take a look at their UPC codes and chuck any affected cans just in case.
Or, if you're thrifty like me, you can get a refund for the recalled tuna you bought. Feel free to take the cans back to the store where you bought them for a full refund. If you have any questions about the refund or the affected tuna itself, you can also reach out to Bumble Bee at 1-866-600-2681, or to Chicken of the Sea at 1-844-267-8862.
If your can of tuna wasn't affected, however, then there's no reason to worry about the recall — and, now that the machinery piece has been fixed, there's no need to hesitate at the grocery store. Enjoy that tuna fish sandwich!