An important Oregon consumer safety announcement from the federal government has been passed along by The Oregonian. The newspaper reports that the Food and Drug Administration has ordered the recall of seven different varieties of Annie’s frozen pizza because some of the meals may be “studded with metal fragments.”
The newspaper reports that a statement issued by the manufacturer, Annie’s Inc of Berkeley, California, “said a mesh screen at a flour mill broke causing tiny metal pieces to tumble into the flour and contaminate pizza dough.” According to The Oregonian the recalled frozen pizzas have been distributed nationwide, so it is only prudent to assume that some may have made their way here to Oregon.
A separate statement released by the FDA noted that the recall is precautionary in nature. Until now, no metal fragments have been discovered in the affected products. The FDA news release (see link below) offers a complete list of the products being recalled, along with their UPC numbers, and also provides contact information for the hotline set up by the company to deal with consumer questions and concerns.
Neither the news release nor The Oregonian’s article indicates how long this problem has been brewing. The FDA statement, however, offers a hint, noting that products “with a best by date including and between 09Jan13 and 14Sep13 are affected.” Considering both the lengthy shelf life of frozen food products and the nine-month period covered by the recall this implies that the problem may have gone uncorrected for quite some time.
As a Portland consumer safety attorney it is troubling to think how long these potentially dangerous products may have been in circulation. Neither the government nor the company statements address how such a serious threat to consumer health and safety could have been allowed to continue for such a long time. The health and safety implications of cases like this can be far reaching, and it is important for Oregonians to understand that the fact that the company has recalled the product does not clear it of responsibility for any damage the product may yet cause.