Nestlé has announced a voluntary frozen food recall, which was announced on March 10. The reason? Nestlé says that the recall of 3 million frozen food items resulted from the “potential presence of glass pieces” in a variety of products containing spinach. According to a report by NBC News, several customers have reported finding small pieces of glass in their frozen food, which prompted Nestlé to order the recall.
The list of frozen food items impacted by the recall is extensive. It contains four different types of DiGiorno frozen pizzas, a total of five different varieties of Lean Cuisine frozen meals, Stouffer’s lasagnas and Stouffer’s soufflé products. A list of all recalled frozen food items and their products codes has been made available by Nestlé on the company’s website.
Despite multiple customers reporting that they’ve found shards of glass in their frozen food, so far no injuries have been reported as a result of the recall or the problems leading up to it. According to a statement from Nestlé, the company is fairly certain that the glass somehow contaminated spinach, as it appears to be the “common ingredient” in all of the foods reported to be contaminated with glass.
“Although our investigation is ongoing, we believe the source of the glass is spinach that was an ingredient common to the products subject to this recall. Nestlé USA is taking this action out of an abundance of caution.”
Nestle is advising customers who have purchased frozen food items that have been recalled not to consume them. Rather, the company has recommended that customers impacted by the issue call their toll-free consumer services hotline. That number is (800) 681-1676. Presumably, the company will be issuing refunds or replacements of the potentially glass-contaminated frozen food items.
While the Nestlé frozen food recall is impacting 3 million products, the company doesn’t believe that the recall will do “long term damage” to its business or bottom line. Market Watch reports that both analysts and investors believe that the company will be able to shrug off the effects of the frozen food recall.
Nestlé, based in Vevey, said through the head of Nestlé America’s business, Laurent Freixe, that while the recall sounds massive, it’s actually relatively limited, and that he doesn’t believe that the recall will negatively impact the brands’ reputation. Indeed, rather the head of Nestlé’ America thinks that the handling of the reports of broken glass in the company’s frozen food demonstrates that their “quality system is working efficiently.”
Reportedly, an internal investigation is taking place.
Unlike another Nestlé recall last year in India (the removal of the company’s highly popular Maggi instant noodles due to high levels of lead), which cost the company $251 million, this recall of frozen food is expected to be relatively inexpensive for the company.
“It’s not going to be as serious as Maggi in India. It’s nothing of that magnitude.”
Reportedly, cooperation among retailers has been good, their overall responses to the frozen food recall “well done.” According to Mr. Freixe, while no real estimates exist for how much the recall is going to cost, “it shouldn’t be major.”
“This is an unfortunate situation, but we are solving it.”
Even investors don’t seem to be very worried about the glass-related frozen food recall. On the Swiss exchange, shares of Nestlé were trading about 0.9 percent higher in early trading. Analysts believe that the frozen food recall will not compromise the improvement Nestlé has made with its frozen food business in North America, but that the recall could slow the pace of progress. Many of the recalled frozen foods were among the “key brands” in Nestlé North America relaunch.
Despite being called “unfortunate and the last thing Nestlé needed,” the recall appears to be little more than a speed bump for Nestlé.
Recalls, after all, are fairly commonplace in the food industry. While the current frozen food recall has garnered a lot of attention, it most likely won’t be too costly or damaging in the long run.
[Image Courtesy Of Tim Boyle/Getty Images]