Just last April 21, frozen potato products manufacturer McCain Foods USA, Inc. issued a voluntary recall of their frozen hash brown products due to contamination with “extraneous golf ball materials”. According to FoodSafetyNews.com, the recalled products are Roundy’s Brand, two-pound “Bag of Frozen Southern Style Hash Browns” (UPC 001115055019) and Harris Teeter Brand, two-pound “Bag of Frozen Southern Style Hash Browns” (UPC 007203649020). The manufacturing date for the recalled products is January 19, 2017; the production code date on the back of the packaging is B170119, the company announced through FDA.gov.
More recently, the company expanded on the voluntary recall of their products. Their Wegman’s Brand 28-ounce “Bag of Frozen O’Brien Hash Browns” (UPC 07789036523) has been added to the list. The manufacturing date for this line of products is October 21, 2016, with the production code of B161021.
Illinois and Wisconsin supermarkets Pick ‘n Save, Marianos, and Metro Market have been noted as distributors of the Roundy’s Brand products. The Harris Teeter Brand products were disseminated in the states of Virginia, Florida, Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, and the District of Columbia. The Wegman’s Brand products were distributed in the states of Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Maryland.
Consumers who have purchased these products have been advised to throw them out or return them to the store where they were purchased. No injuries associated with the consumption of the golf ball-contaminated frozen hash browns have been reported so far. However, complaints have begun coming in from consumers who have discovered hard rubber or plastic pieces in their frozen hash browns.
The company stated in their recall notice: “Despite our stringent supply standards [the golf balls] may have been inadvertently harvested with potatoes used to make this product. Consumption of these products may pose a choking hazard or other physical injury to the mouth.”
In a statement to CNET.com, a spokesman for McCain Foods USA further elaborated with: “We believe the cause might be that the field where the potatoes were harvested was adjacent to a golf course.”
McCain Foods USA is a subsidiary of the Canadian multi-national McCain Foods Limited. According to PotatoPro.com, McCain Foods is the world’s biggest manufacturer of frozen potato specialties. Additionally, the company operates over 50 production facilities across six continents. It’s highly probable that the golf balls could have originated from at least any one of these production facilities.
The manufacturer is not the first nor the only company to have recalled their food products. On the site FoodSafety.gov, one can view a list of recent recalls that is continuously updated as companies in the United States send out recall notices for a variety of reasons. The majority of the notices submitted by companies to the FDA claim “possible health risks” as the explanation behind their recalls. (Related: America’s Food Safety System on Verge of Breakdown, Warns Report)
Rest assured, McCain Foods USA won’t be the last to do this. The agencies that are supposed to be protecting the people and preventing situations like this from happening are not doing their jobs. This is why it’s up to the consumers to take care of themselves. Remember to be careful of what and where you buy your food. Vigilance is key to staying safe in a world where eating frozen hash browns could lead to you accidentally ingesting pieces of golf balls.
Learn more about other news on foods by visiting FoodSupply.news.