Misbranding is the culprit this time around. Unfortunately, Kraft Foods Inc. of Columbia, Mo. has had to recall 96,000 packaged “Oscar Mayer Classic Wieners” because it has come to their attention they may accidentally contain cheese. The mix-up is a result of the “Classic Cheese Dogs” mistakenly being wrapped up in the original “Oscar Mayer Classic Wiener” packaging, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection.
Since the labels are more than likely incorrect, they do not represent the actual ingredients inside the product. The cheesy hot dogs are made with a pasteurized cheese, which is made with known dairy allergens, and due to the mishap these particular ingredients are therefore not labeled on the product. Unsuspecting consumers with dairy allergies could potentially suffer from eating the mis-labeled wieners resulting in many negative complications for the food company and the consumer, but currently there have been no adverse reactions reported.
This past Friday, April 18, a consumer noticed her classic Oscar Mayer wieners were confusingly filled with cheese and promptly notified Kraft. The USDA was alerted the following day, which eventually led to the 96,000 wiener recall on Sunday, April 20. According to Joyce Hodel, a representative for Kraft Foods Group Inc., the mislabeled hot dogs come from a plant in Columbia, Missouri. The wieners were produced in early March and then distributed to Kraft store houses and retailers nationwide.
The USDA mark of inspection on the classic wieners will have the number “Est. 537H.” The recall overall applies to 16-ounce individual packages for consumers labelled: “Classic Wieners Made with Turkey & Chicken, Pork Added,” with a “USE BY 16 Jun 2014” date and product code “044700000632.” Corresponding cases of the same packaging with the case code “00447000005300” are also being recalled.
Kraft Foods is no stranger to recalls. As recently as three months ago, the Truitt Brothers recalled 1.7 million pounds of “Kraft Velveeta Cheesy Skillet Singles–Ultimate Cheeseburger Mac.” The product was essentially a “beefed” up mac ‘n cheese entrée, containing the main ingredients of pasta, cheese sauce, and ground beef. However, some of the labels on the microwavable meal did not mention that the product contained dried soy sauce and also a hydrolyzed soy protein, which are allergens. At the time, Hodel said that the product was certainly safe for anyone to eat who did not suffer from a soy allergy or sensitivity. As in the case with the hot dogs, the only thing wrong with the product was that it was labeled incorrectly.
The Velveeta recall applied only to the specific “Ultimate Cheeseburger Mac Velveeta Cheesy Skillet Singles.” No other Kraft or Velveeta products were suspected of a mis-labeling at the time, according to government officials. This particular product recall concerned packages marked with a sale date from March 2, 2014 to October 23, 2014.
Concerning the case of the classic Oscar Mayer wiener, retailers are asked to contact their Kraft Foods sales representatives or suppliers with questions regarding the recall. Kraft’s customer relations department at (855) 688-4386 is also available for consumers and retailers alike.
By Stacy Feder