The USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service sent out a press release announcing a Class I recall of 467 pounds of bacon and pork sausage packed and sold by Mountain Products of Lagrange because certain lots did not have labels that warned consumers about “known allergens”, namely milk, soy and wheat.
The USDA discovered the labeling errors on April 11 “during a routine label review verification”. The products that were mislabeled were packed between January 2015 to March 9, 2016.
The USDA Release “urges” consumers not to eat these products because they were not properly labeled. The USDA says they should be returned.
Tom Gray at Mountain Products is one of the few processors in our area and an important resource for farmers, and for delis and small retail stores who want local products. Since most of the product “recalled” has long ago been consumed and is off the shelves of retailers, he had difficulty in understanding what the recall was supposed to accomplish.
The meat in the products had been inspected by the USDA. He says the USDA inspectors are in his plant every day. Each package has a USDA inspection seal.
The inspector failed to notice the label defect. It was a new inspector who found the label error.
The USDA defines a Class I recall as a “certain health hazard situation where there is a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death.” The release also stated that there were “no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products.”
The US Department of Health and Human Services says that two percent of adults and five percent of infants and young children in the US suffer from food allergies.
The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 went into effect on January 1, 2006. Products packed before that date without the label are not considered hazardous.