Deli Meat Recall as 15,000 Pounds Could Contain Undeclared Nut Allergen

Canadian food company Sofina Foods Inc. is recalling approximately 15,165 pounds of ready-to-eat mortadella deli meat products because they have been misbranded and could contain an undeclared nut allergen.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) said in a statement on Friday that the ready-to-eat mortadella deli meat produced by the Ontario-based company might contain pistachio, which hasn’t been stated on the product label.

The company notified the FSIS after a consumer found a pistachio nut in the meat while slicing it, but there were no reports of confirmed cases of adverse reactions due to product consumption. However, the federal agency added that those concerned about an illness should contact a medical professional.

The deli meat being recalled was produced this year on March 27, March 30 and April 4 and have been shipped to distribution centers in California, New York, Michigan, Illinois, and Pennsylvania for use in retail and food services.

Stacks of mortadella sandwiches are displayed at the 2023 International Green Week (Internationale Gruene Woche) agricultural trade fair on January 20, 2023, in Berlin, Germany. Canadian food company Sofina Foods Inc. is recalling more than 15,000 pounds of ready-to-eat mortadella deli meat products because they have been misbranded and contain an “undeclared” allergen.
Photo by Maja Hitij/Getty Images

“FSIS is concerned that some product may be in delis and foodservice locations refrigerators and freezers. Delis and foodservice locations are urged not to serve these products. Consumers who have purchased these products and have an allergy to pistachios, should not consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase,” the agency said in the statement.

Newsweek has reached out via email to Sofina Foods Inc. for comment.

The recall comes nearly a month after federal food safety inspectors issued a warning against eating ground beef burgers from Weinstein Wholesale Meats, a Chicago-based business that has been operating since 1959. The warning came after reports of “rubber-like” material found in some beef burgers.

The family-owned business recalled around 2,122 pounds of their burger patties that might be contaminated with pieces of white neoprene, the FSIS said at the time. Neoprene, a synthetic rubber, is used in civil engineering products, electronics and personal protective equipment such as face masks. It is not considered toxic, but it is a polymerized form of chloroprene, which is hazardous, and which the Environmental Protection Agency says is a likely carcinogen.

The FSIS said at the time that the potentially contaminated beef burgers were shipped to an online distributor that sold products to consumers nationwide. The agency was “concerned that some product may be in consumers’ refrigerators or freezers,” and urged them not to eat the product, and to either throw them away or return them to the place of purchase.

The problem was discovered when a vendor received “multiple” complaints from customers who found a white, rubbery material in their patties while they were cooking them, according to the FSIS. A spokesperson for Weinstein Wholesale Meats and Pre, the distributor, said they received five complaints of what they described as “a very small amount of product.”

“Weinstein has completed an internal review related to this event at the Forest Park facility and corrective actions have been implemented,” the spokesperson said. “We view this as an isolated incident. Our company is committed to producing high quality and safe food for our customers.”

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