ConAgra Foods Recalls Frozen Dinners Containing Metal Fragments

ConAgra has recalled frozen dinners after metal fragments from the assembly line were discovered in sauce used for the meals, according to the Tri-City Herald.

The recall affects nearly 200,000 pounds of ConAgra’s P.F. Chang’s Home Menu brand chicken and beef frozen entrees. So far, ConAgra Foods hasn’t received any reports of injuries or illness related to consumption of the meals.

The United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) posted a press release last Friday (July 15) about ConAgra Foods’ recall of frozen dinners, ranking the potential health risk to the public as high.

It’s also ranked as a Class I recall, described as “a health hazard situation where there is a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death.”

“The metal fragments range in size between 2 and 9 millimeters (mm) in diameter, and are curled, malleable and shiny. The metal fragments may be embedded in the sauce contained within the frozen entrée products.

“The problem was initially discovered on July 1, 2016, when an establishment employee observed metal fragments while dispensing sugar from a supplier for sauce formulation during processing. The resulting sauce is a component in the frozen entrée products. On July 14, 2016, ConAgra Foods was notified by the supplier of an FDA recall involving multiple production lots of sugar due to potential metal contamination. The recall action involved additional lots of sugar potentially used in FSIS regulated products at ConAgra Foods, and resulted in this expansion of the initial recall action.”

The release lists several varieties of 22-ounce P.F. Chang’s frozen dinners, all with expiration dates for next year. The frozen dinners were distributed to stores across the country.

Customers who have products that may be affected are encouraged to either throw the frozen dinners away or return them to the store.

Chinese restaurant chain P.F. Chang’s posted a notice to their Facebook page after the frozen dinner recall, assuring customers that the situation affects only the frozen line, not the food served at the franchise’s restaurant locations.

The chain has emphasized their “Farm to Wok” philosophy, using fresh, quality ingredients in the meals served at P.F. Chang’s restaurants.

Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, ConAgra Foods is behind popular packaged foods like Healthy Choice, Hunt’s, Chef Boyardee, Snack Pack, PAM, and more.

P.F. Chang’s has posted an alert about ConAgra Foods’ recall of the frozen dinners to their social media pages, however ConAgra hasn’t done the same on their pages.

ConAgra Foods isn’t the first to announce a worrying frozen food recall this year. In June, reported a recall of nearly 400 CRF Frozen Foods fruit and vegetable products sold at Target, Walmart, Trader Joe’s, Costco, and Safeway. A CRF facility in Washington distributed the products, and there was concern over possible listeria contamination.

The types of products varied, from plain fruits and vegetables to stir fry combinations. They were sold between September, 2015, and June, 2016.

Listeriosis is caused by the listeria monocytogenes bacteria in contaminated foods. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), some symptoms are fever, muscle aches, diarrhea, headache, loss of balance, confusion, and convulsions. Listeriosis most often affects pregnant women, the elderly, those with weak immune systems, and newborns.

Whole Foods announced a voluntary recall of Maytag blue cheese in March, also concerned about a possible listeria outbreak. Starbucks faced the same situation with their breakfast sandwiches in the same month, recalling the products from 250 stores across the country.

Anyone concerned about ConAgra Foods recall of frozen dinners is urged to contact ConAgra’s customer service line.

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