(NaturalNews) A subsidiary of Virginia-based Smithfield Foods Inc. has issued a Class II recall on 38,000 pounds' worth of breakfast pork sausage that it says may be contaminated with small bits of plastic. According to an announcement made by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the affected product is known as Gwaltney mild pork sausage, and includes one-pound chubs bearing a "use by" date of March 12, 2013, and the establishment number "Est. 221-A," which is printed inside the USDA mark of inspection.
In addition to the one-pound chubs, the company is also recalling cases of the pork sausage roll that bear the case code 78533109741. The two affected products in question were reportedly manufactured on January 11, 2013, and were distributed in 11 states, including Alabama, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Texas.
The Smithfield Packing Company believes the potential plastic bits may have come from plastic gloves used during manufacturing, which apparently got caught in meat grinders and other processing equipment and packaged directly into the meat products. The problem was reportedly discovered after the company received complaints from at least two customers about plastic in their meat, prompting further investigation.
According to the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), there have been no reported injuries as a result of the contaminated products. But anyone who suspects a problem is encouraged to contact a healthcare provider for further assistance. And anyone with questions about the recall can call Wendy Johnson, Manager of Consumer Affairs at Smithfield, at (877) 933-4625.
Back in 2010, Smithfield issued a much larger recall on more than 203,000 pounds of ground beef that were suspected to be contaminated with E. coli bacteria. According to the FSIS, the health risk associated with that particular recall was "high," which means the agency believed consumption of the tainted products could cause serious, adverse health consequences or even death.
According to the SourceWatch wiki, Smithfield has been pegged by environmental, animal, and consumer advocacy groups for its reckless business practices, including animal abuse, environmental pollution, and corporate takeover of independent farms. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) actually went after Smithfield for turning rivers and other water sources in both North Carolina and Virginia into "toxic dumps."