Reports of small chunks of blue plastic in Lean Cuisine brand frozen chicken dinners have led Nestle Prepared Foods Co. to recall 900,000 pounds worth of meals.
The frozen dinners were distributed nationwide, and at least one person has reported an injury, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service. No other details of the reported injury have been released by the USDA.
However, Roz O’Hearn, spokeswoman for the Nestle Prepared Foods, told ABCNews.com in an e-mail that “there have been no reports of any injuries requiring medical attention.”
So far, the blue plastic has been found in three specific Lean Cuisine dinners — Cafe Classics Pesto Chicken with Bow Tie Pasta, Spa Cuisine Chicken Mediterranean and Dinnertime Selects Chicken Tuscan.
The USDA considered the blue plastic a potential health threat and has ranked the recall as Class I — a “health hazard situation where there is a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death.”
“It could cause injury — a piece of plastic could cut your mouth, it could scratch your throat,” said Amanda Eamich, spokesperson for the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service.
Eamich said the USDA knew the recalled dinners were distributed nationwide, but it would take time to track precisely which regions, states and cities received the contaminated shipments.
O’Hearn said Nestle traced the blue plastic to a single lot of raw ingredients shipped to a Lean Cuisine facility.
“We are requesting that you return recalled items directly to your supermarket for a full refund,” said O’Hearn.
According to the USDA, the contaminated dinners were produced between Aug. 18 and Oct. 27 of this year. To determine whether a dinner in your freezer is contaminated, O’Hearn said consumers can call 800-227-6188 to check the production codes on the side of Lean Cuisine packages.
The USDA has also provided a list of production codes so consumers can check to see if their dinners have been recalled. The following products are subject to recall:
9.5-ounce packages of Cafe Classics Pesto Chicken with Bow Tie Pasta brand frozen meals. Printed on the side of each package is a production code of 8280595912 as well as a use-by date of “Best Before May 2010.”
10.5-ounce packages of Spa Cuisine Chicken Mediterranean brand frozen meals. Printed on the side of each package is a production code of 8231595912 or 8241595912 as well as a use-by date of “Best before Sept. 2010”; a production code of 8263595912, 8269595911 or 8274595912, as well as a use-by date of “Best before Oct. 2010″; or, a production code of 8291595912 or 8301595912 ” as well as a use-by date of “Best before Nov. 2010.”
12.5-ounce packages of Dinnertime Selects Chicken Tuscan brand frozen meals. Printed on the side of each package is a production code of 8234595911 and a use-by date of Best before Sept. 2009; a production code of 8253595911 or 8269595912 as well as a use-by date of Best before Oct. 2009; or a production code of 8292595911 or 8296595911 as well as a use-by date of “Best before Nov. 2009.”