Have you ever had a sausage recall? Bob Evans Farms Foods, Inc., pulls a lot of pork. More specifically, the company is recalling approximately 7,560 pounds of Italian pork sausage products due to some health concerns, according to an announcement by the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). Linking to the health concerns is that some of these sausages may be contaminated with thin blue rubber. Now, while many ingredients can go into sausage, thin blue rubber is honestly not supposed to be one of them.
Bob Evans Farms Foods, Inc. notified USDA FSIS of the issue after consumers complained of finding this foreign material in their sausages. It is unclear how many sausages may have actually been affected by this contamination. So instead of asking every customer, “can I take a look at your sausage,” the company decided to recall all potentially affected Italian pork sausages produced on September 8, 2022.
So if you have any sausage, check your packaging. Please determine if it includes one kilo of spices labeled “Bob Evans Italian Sausage” bearing the lot code “XEN3663466” along with a “USE/FRZ BY” date of 11/26/22 and a time stamp between 2:43 PM and 3:00 PM: 25. There is also a store number “EST. 6785” inside the USDA inspection mark. The USDA included a photo of such a label that you can use for cross-checking. Registered dietitian Sandra Frank, EdD, RDN, FAND, also tweeted this photo of a sausage package label:
If you didn’t make your own sausage, you might want to grill the chef about the origin of the sausage.
This is certainly far from the “wildest” situation you can imagine. While you shouldn’t start sprinkling your food with rubber as if it were salt and pepper, an accidental ingestion of small amounts of fine blue rubber, depending on the type and shape of the rubber, could just pass through your system. It could only be a matter of just a couple of days before there is poop. According to the USDA FSIS, there have so far been no confirmed reports of injury or illness due to the ingestion of these specific deli products. Therefore, at this point, the recall is mainly for precautionary reasons. It is always better to prevent any negative effects than to have to “ketchup” and deal with them.
Of course, if you have any of the products affected by the recall, don’t just put those products in the “pork area” and ignore them. Instead, throw them away or return them for a refund. And if you’ve already eaten any of the products and feel sick (especially beyond the “maybe-I-shouldn’t-eat-50-of-these-sausages-in-one-sitting” feeling), call the doctor as soon as possible.
This is not the first time Bob Evans Farms, Inc., has had such a recall. In January 2021, the company recalled about 4,200 pounds of Italian pork sausage for the same reason: contamination with fine blue rubber. A Sausage-Frank-Twitter post at the time included a link to the USDA FSIS announcement:
All of this is a reminder to watch what’s in your food. Pay attention to any USDA FSIS announcement that may arise. But don’t wait for a recall. Be proactive about food safety. Inspect all of your ingredients before cooking or otherwise preparing them. Make sure there is no rubber in your sausage or anything else that doesn’t belong there. And while eating, it’s not a good idea to keep your eyes closed. Doing so wouldn’t allow you to see what’s actually in your food and could also lead to accidentally poked-in-the-eye-or-pushed-the-sausage-up-my-nose situations.