Nestle Prepared foods Company has issued a Hot Pocket recall for over 200,000 pounds of stuffed, frozen Hot Pocket Pepperoni Pizza sandwich products. This follows a similar Lean Pocket recall issued last month by Nestle for frozen Spinach Artichoke Chicken Pockets.
The Pepperoni Pizza Hot Pockets were sold under the brand name of “Hot Pockets,” as opposed to the reduced calorie “Lean Pockets” which were involved in last months recall. However, both actions were taken because small pieces of plastic were found in the sandwiches.
The Hot Pockets consist of meats and cheese in a crust that can be heated in a microwave. The USDA classified both actions as a “Class I Recall”, since the consumption of the products could cause severe adverse health consequences, including death.
The recalled Pepperoni Pizza Hot Pockets were manufactured by Nestle on June 5, 2008, and sold throughout the United States. According to Nestle, the Hot Pocket recall only applies to 54 ounce, 12 pack cartons labeled “Hot Pockets Pepperoni Pizza – value 12 pack”. They contain a “Best Before” date of “Jan2010”, an establishment number of “EST 7721A” and a packaging code “8157544614D” printed on the side of the package.
Nestle discovered the latest Hot Pocket problems after they received at least four independent complaints where consumers reported pieces of hard red plastic were in the pizza products. Although no injuries have been confirmed as the date of the recall, it is unclear how many users could have eaten the defective Hot Pockets without reporting problems and thousands of the sandwiches could still be in consumers’ freezers.
On July 14, 2008, Nestle issued a Lean Pocket recall for nearly 200,000 pounds of their frozen stuffed chicken sandwiches which were produced on May 23, 2008. At the time of this earlier recall, the Nestle suggested that no other products were at risk, but clearly that was not the case.
It is unclear how the pieces of plastic made their way into the microwavable pockets, and Nestle has failed to provide any information for consumers about how they can be assured that other Hot Pocket and Lean Pocket products are not also affected.
As of the date this article was published, Nestle continues to prominently feature Pepperoni Pizza Hot Pockets on the home page of their Hot Pockets website, without any clearly labeled links to information about these recalls.