Two of the three biggest players in the U.S. canned-tuna game -- Bumble Bee and Chicken of the Sea -- have both expanded voluntary recalls because of concerns about the packaging of a number of their products, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's online site.
Bumble Bee is marketed by Bumble Bee Foods LLC, owned by the U.K.-based private-equity firm Lion Capital LLP. Chicken of the Sea is marketed by Tri-Union Seafoods LLC, owned by the Thailand-based seafood processor Thai Union Group. Both Bumble Bee Foods and Tri-Union Seafoods are headquartered in San Diego.
In the case of Bumble Bee Foods, the company said: "The recall has been issued because the products do not meet the company's standards for seal tightness. Loose seals or seams could result in product contamination by spoilage organisms or pathogens and lead to illness if consumed."
However, Bumble Bee Foods noted, "There have been no reports to date of any illness associated with these products." The relevant products were distributed for retail sale nationwide between Jan. 17 and March 6. A list of the products subject to the recall can be found on the FDA site.
"Due to can integrity concerns, our top priority at this time is to remove these recalled products from distribution as soon as possible," Steve Mavity, Bumble Bee Foods senior vice president of technical services and corporate quality assurance, said in a statement. "We are working closely with our sales team and with retailers to help expedite the recall."
Consumers who have purchased the recalled products should discard them by disposing them in the garbage. Consumers should direct any questions about either the Bumble Bee Foods recall or reimbursement to a 24-hour dedicated line at (888) 820-1947.
In the case of Tri-Union Seafoods, the company said: "The seams on the lids of the cans do not meet the standard for seam quality. Cans that do not meet seam standards could result in product contamination by spoilage organisms or by pathogens, which could lead to illness if consumed."
However, Tri-Union Seafoods pointed out, "There have been no reported illnesses to date." A list of the products subject to the recall can be found on the FDA site.
"The health and safety of our consumers is paramount," Shue Wing Chan, president of Tri-Union Seafoods, said in a statement. "As soon as we discovered the issue, we took immediate steps to issue this voluntary recall by alerting our customers who received the product and by asking them to remove it from store shelves."
Consumers should direct any questions about the Tri-Union Seafoods recall to a 24-hour dedicated line at (800) 597-5898.
In terms of U.S. canned-tuna market share, the flagship brand of the StarKist Co. unit of South Korea's Dongwon Industries is generally ranked No. 1, followed by Bumble Bee and Chicken of the Sea, respectively.