• There were "multiple customer complaints" about bloated packaging
  • Lab tests revealed "high levels of spoilage bacteria" in the prematurely spoiled products
  • The affected soup products were shipped nationwide and exported to Mexico

Authorities are issuing a public health alert on various meat soup products because of possible contamination. They may have spoiled prematurely and should not be consumed.

The problem with the ready-to-eat meat soups was discovered through "multiple" customer complaints about the packaging being bloated, according to the announcement from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). The company then notified the agency about the complaints.

An investigation by the firm determined that some products may have "spoiled prematurely." Laboratory testing of these spoiled products revealed that they actually contained "high levels of spoilage bacteria."

It's possible that the products may have been "prepared, packed or held under insanitary conditions," thus potentially resulting in spoilage, according to the FSIS. Proper sanitation is said to be a key requirement under the Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA) and the Poultry Products Inspection Act (PPIA).

"Consumption of food contaminated with spoilage organisms can cause illness in immunocompromised individuals," the agency noted.

So far, there have been no confirmed reports of anyone getting sick from eating the soup products. The FSIS didn't issue a recall because the products are no longer available for sale. However, it still issued a public health alert so that potentially affected customers won't consume the products anymore.

The recall affects several soup products, including the 48-ounce packs with two 24-ounce cups of "Ivar's Puget Sound Clam Chowder with Bacon," "Ivar's Loaded Baked Potato Soup" and "Ivar's Rustic Zuppa Toscana Italian Sausage and Vegetable Soup" with certain "use by" dates. Also affected by the health alert are the 20-ounce cups of "Ivar's Puget Sound Clam Chowder with Bacon" and "Pike Place Fish Market World Famous Clam Chowder with Bacon" with certain "use by" dates.

The list of affected "use by" dates is available on the FSIS website while photos of the products' packaging are available here. These have the establishment number "EST. 20173" inside the USDA mark of inspection and were shipped to retail locations nationwide. These products were also exported to Mexico.

"FSIS is concerned that some product may be in consumers' refrigerators or freezers. Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them," the FSIS noted. "These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase."

Those with questions may contact Ivar's Soup Company via email at

Soup, Chowder, food, meal, potato,
Representative image of soup. RitaE/Pixabay