Health

The Five Craziest Food Recalls Ever

We're shaking our heads over these consumer alerts — as well as the wacky statements from top companies

The phrase “what you see is what you get” has become a staple for Americans recently, as bizarre food recalls have led us to question what is really going on with the manufacturing of our food.

And while the occasional recall of one of our favorite snacks due to E.coli or a touch of listeria is something we have become used to (unfortunately), most of us are still shaking our heads after reading the wacky statements issued from many well-known companies this month.

Pieces of golf balls were found mixed in with the potatoes.

With a little help from the Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the internet has thankfully been able to pump out news and alerts about these off-the-wall contaminations at a rapid rate.

Here is a roundup of some of the stranger food recalls for the month of April 2017:

1.) Prepackaged salad is home to a bat. Most of us thought bats only come out at night — but it looks as if they also like to hang out in the prepackaged salads we so love to eat. Fresh Express announced a recall of a limited number of cases of Organic Marketside Spring Mix on April 8, 2017, after “extraneous animal matter was allegedly found in a single container of salad.”

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What exactly was this extraneous animal matter? A dead bat!

2.) Hash browns with a special prize. Remember as a kid how exciting it was to dig that tiny prize out of the Cracker Jack box? Well, it looks like a new surprise is showing up in the hash browns we eat for our morning dose of taters — and the recall just keeps getting bigger. Pieces of golf balls were found mixed in with the potatoes: Apparently they were “inadvertently harvested” along with the potatoes and chopped up. McCain Foods USA announced an expanded recall Wednesday April 26, 2017, after the original recall was announced April 21, 2017.

The first recall included Roundy’s and Harris Teeter Brand Hash Browns sold in nine states and in Washington, D.C., and the updated announcement extends the advisory to include 28-ounce bags of Wegman’s frozen O’Brien Hash Browns.

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3.) Potato chips too “hot” to handle. We all know that jalapeño peppers have a kick, but now this pepper has been involved in a seasoning that may have been contaminated with salmonella bacteria. Frito-Lay recalled two types of jalapeño-flavored chips — Lay’s Kettle Cooked potato chips and Miss Vickie’s Kettle Cooked potato chips — on April 21, 2017, due to reports of the presence of salmonella in the seasoning used to flavor the chips.

4.) Plastic chickens. Smothering a chicken patty with your favorite teriyaki sauce and slapping it into a bun is something worth sinking your teeth into, but chicken mixed with a side of plastic — no, thanks! Foster Poultry Farms in Farmerville, Louisiana, has recalled 31,880 pounds of frozen, ready-to-eat breaded chicken-patty products that may be contaminated with foreign materials, specifically plastic. The USDA issued a statement on April 27, 2017 that clear, soft plastic was showing up in the patties.

Related: Take a Fresh Look at That Salt Shaker

5.) Dog food possibly contaminated with euthanasia drug. It seems our beloved pets can’t catch a break, either. A pet food company recalled two kinds of beef-and-poultry canned dog foods after tests showed it contained a euthanasia drug used on animals. Party Animal Inc. said on April 24, 2017, that the 13-ounce cans of Cocolicious Beef and Turkey, and Beef and Chicken may contain a sedative commonly used by veterinarians to euthanize dogs and cats.

Sara Hermanson is a freelance writer in Washington State whose focus is health, wellness, fitness and parenting. 

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