Recall Review: Neoprene Contamination

April 30, 2023

Weinstein Wholesale Meats, Inc. Recalls Raw Ground Beef Burger Products Due to Possible Foreign Matter Contamination

FSIS Announcement

WASHINGTON, April 20, 2023 – Weinstein Wholesale Meats, Inc., a Forest Park, Ill. establishment, is recalling approximately 2,122 pounds of raw ground beef burger products that may be contaminated with extraneous materials, specifically pieces of white neoprene, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.
The raw ground beef burger patties were produced on March 14, 2023. The following products are subject to recall [view labels]:

  • 10.7-oz. vacuum-sealed packages containing two pieces of “100% Grass Fed & Finished Beef Burger Patties 85% Lean/15% Fat” and with “Use/Freeze By 4/11/23” on the package label.

The products subject to recall bear establishment number “Est. 6987” inside the USDA mark of inspection. These items were shipped to an online distributor, which sold the product to customers nationwide.


The problem was discovered after the establishment received multiple consumer complaints reporting consumers found white "rubber-like" material in the ground beef patty products during preparation.

Although details are limited to this recall, there are some possible root causes;

  1. Contaminated raw ingredients used in the finished product.
  2. Mechanical breakdown of equipment with rubber or other non-metallic components (polymers, ceramics, non-detectable metals, etc.)
  3. Components and / or equipment (such as personal protective equipment, PPE, i.e., rubber gloves) used by operators, mechanics, or lab technicians.
  4. Ingredient or component liners, which are accidentally dumped into the production process.

While investigating a similar foreign material / neoprene issue, it was identified that the material was similar to the neoprene found in gloves operators wore. Upon a deeper review, it was
identified that there are a number of contributing factors to this material entering into the production stream.

  1. Since the facility wanted to reduce costs and labor associated with managing multiple sizes, they went to a “one-size fits all”. By doing this, they failed to see how this would
    impact employees. People with larger hands did not have any problems, however employees with smaller hands experienced the gloves slipping off and at times they were
    not aware of it, until it was identified in the finished product.
  2. A second contributing factor was when a facility attempted to reduce costs, they directed their purchasing department to purchase a less expensive, thinner glove. In this instance,
    the fingers would pull off and enter the product stream, again, without the operator being aware.
  3. The product quality of the incoming gloves varied, resulting in premature tearing, or ripping.
  4. Operators did not change their gloves frequently enough, resulting in failure from extended use.

Together we can all do our part to be advocates for prevention and drive out recalls worldwide!

In The Midst Of A Recall - Food Manufacturing - Recall Prevention - Walk through - Business bookWant to read more Case Studies? Check out my book “In the Midst of a Recall” for real-world measures you can take now to prepare with in-depth Case Studies. Available now



Source(s): USFA recall alert

Add Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *