FSIS Issues Public Health Alert for Canned Meat Product Due to Possible Under Processing

FSIS Issues Public Health Alert for Canned Meat Product Due to Possible Under Processing

Hormel Foods Corporation

FSIS Announcement

WASHINGTON, Sept. 16, 2023 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is issuing a public health alert for canned meat product due to under processing. FSIS is issuing this public health alert to ensure that consumers are aware that this product should not be consumed. A recall was not requested because it is believed that the product is no longer available for consumers to purchase.

The canned meat item was produced by Hormel Foods Corp. Services, LLC, an Austin, Minn. establishment, on Aug. 17, 2023. The following product is subject to the public health alert [view labels]:

  • 12-oz. metal cans containing “SPAM Classic” with “BEST BY AUG 2026” date and lot code A08173 printed on the bottom of the can.

The product bears establishment number “EST. 199” inside the USDA mark of inspection. The product involved in this alert was shipped to H.E.B. retail locations in Texas; no other retailers are involved in this alert.

The problem was discovered when the firm reported that they inadvertently shipped product that may not have been adequately processed to reach commercial sterility.

There have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about an injury or illness should contact a healthcare provider.

FSIS is concerned that some product may be in consumers’ pantries or refrigerators. Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.

Review and Recommendations

The details of the under-processing have not been provided, however, there are a few things that can be done to ensure this type of recall does not happen in your organization.

I recommend reviewing the following areas to ensure you have minimized risk to your operation.

  • Critical Control Points (CCPs) and Control Points (CPs) are monitored effectively.
  • System to inspect containers prior to being filled and processed.
  • Ingredient review to ensure the proper temperature, size, and amount used for filling.
  • Verify formulas are followed and solids to liquid ratios are correct.
  • Review the ingredient and container orientation.
  • Verify all system alarms and notifications are working properly.
  • Validate and verify that all heating and cooling steps follow the filed process.
  • Verify all inspection systems are operating as designed and system checks are being conducted at the appropriate frequencies.
  • Make sure paperwork and electronic documents are filled out properly and reviewed per the company’s requirements and prior to the shipment of products.
  • Have an escalation plan established to communicate any process deviations.
  • Ensure that products are dispositioned properly and there is no chance of product being accidentally shipped prior to your organizations release protocols.
  • Verify that your company has a system in place to inspect finished products for damage to ensure product container seals are functioning as designed.
  • Have a process in place that secures or removes substandard products immediately so they cannot be accidentally shipped.
  • Test your hold, release, and shipping systems to ensure they function as designed.
  • Communicate and enforce your organizations Management of Change procedures for mechanical and programming changes.

As you review these areas, look for gaps where you could have an area of opportunity or risk and address it immediately.

By Focusing on Key Areas Within the Operation, Together We can Drive out Recalls Worldwide!

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