• The company learned of the problem through a customer
  • The recall affects nearly 15,000 sleeves of the product
  • Customers may return the affected product to get a refund

Washington-based Ivar's Soup and Sauce Company is recalling its clam chowder sold exclusively at Costco stores in several states because they may contain pieces of "hard, sharp, opaque" plastic.

The company first learned of the problem when a customer notified it about a piece of plastic found in Ivar's Kettle Classic Clam Chowder With Uncured Bacon on Oct. 17, according to the announcement posted Tuesday on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website.

The plastic piece that the consumer found was half-circle in shape and had a diameter of about 1 1/2 inches. It also had "sharp and pointed" edges.

"It is possible that the remainder of the circular plastic is a similarly intact piece or numerous smaller pieces," the company noted.

Hard or sharp objects in food products may result in injury in the areas like the mouth, tongue, throat, teeth and gums, the FDA noted. Typically, foreign objects with dimensions of less than 7 millimeters "rarely" cause trauma except in certain people such as infants, the elderly or surgery patients.

No injuries have been reported in connection with the recall, but the company is urging customers who may still have the affected product not to consume it. Instead, they are advised to either throw it away or return it to where it was purchased to get a full refund.

In total, the recall affects 14,968 sleeves of the "ready to heat & serve" clam chowder. The affected products come in clear 24-ounce plastic containers in a double-pack and have the UPC 0 30383 19649 6. They have a "use by date" of 12-22-2021, which is printed on both the paperboard sleeve surrounding each product and the individual cup lids. One can see their packaging in a photo provided by the FDA.

The product is Costco Item number 1270666. It was sold exclusively at Costco stores in 13 states namely Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin, the FDA noted.

Those who may have questions related to the recall may contact the company at 1-425-493-1402 from Monday to Friday.

costco A worker pushes carts outside a Costco Wholesale store on May 31, 2006, in Mount Prospect, Illinois. Photo: Tim Boyle/Getty Images