The food giant Kraft Heinz recalled more than 2 million pounds of Oscar Mayer turkey bacon Tuesday night after some customers reported "illness related to the consumption of these products," a release by the U.S. Department of Agriculture said. The packages of turkey bacon might spoil sooner than the expiration date listed on the package and thus could be "adulerated," it added. Here's how to determine if that package of turkey bacon sitting in your refrigerator could be suspect, and why you probably should not panic if you have eaten turkey bacon recently.
The recall was rated Class II, meaning it has a low health risk. Although customers have reported some illnesses after eating the food, there have been no adverse reactions, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture has defined the situation as one where the probability of such a reaction after eating the potentially contaminated bacon is "remote."
The three varieties of recalled turkey bacon were produced between May 31 and Aug. 6, the official recall notice said. Images of the labels on these packages can be viewed here. The following are the specific packages, along with product codes and expiration dates, that were recalled:
-- Oscar Mayer Selects Uncured Turkey Bacon: 56 oz. cardboard boxes, containing four plastic-wrapped packages, with the plant number P-9070, line number RS19 and Product UPC 0 4470007633 0. Their expiration dates (found under “Best When Used By”) range from Aug. 24, 2015, to Oct. 26, 2015.
-- Oscar Mayer Smoked Cured Turkey Chopped and Formed (smaller size): 36 oz. cardboard boxes, each with three plastic-wrapped packages, with the plant number P-9070, line number RS19 and Product UPC 0 7187154874 8. Their expiration dates fall between Aug. 28, 2015, and Oct. 20, 2015.
-- Oscar Mayer Smoked Cured Turkey Chopped and Formed (larger size): 48 oz. cardboard boxes with four plastic- wrapped packages inside, with plant number P-9070, line number RS19 and Product UPC 0 7187154879 3, with expiry dates ranging from Sept. 3, 2015, to Oct. 30, 2015.
Kraft Heinz is voluntarily withdrawing select sizes and code dates of Oscar Mayer Turkey Bacon: http://t.co/iSiSsV8ZX9
— Kraft Foods (@kraftfoods) August 26, 2015
In other words, if you have Oscar Mayer turkey bacon with the plant number P-9070 and line number RS19, it has been recalled. The company posted an 800 number that customers can call with queries, but did not indicate in the USDA release whether it would provide refunds to customers who had bought potentially tainted bacon.
Kraft Heinz, based in Newberry, South Carolina, owns Oscar Mayer. It formed when H.J. Heinz and Kraft Foods Group merged in March in a deal estimated to be worth $45 billion. The processed food monoliths have struggled in recent years with sagging sales as Americans have shifted toward eating more natural and less-processed meals.