The United States produces a lot of its own food, but the import and export of various food items are also big business, and meat is no exception. When the meat is imported into the country it typically needs to be inspected by regulatory agencies like the USDA to ensure that guidelines are being followed and that customers in the U.S. are getting a quality product that was stored and shipped properly. When those regulators catch wind of a company importing food without it being inspected, a recall is often the result.
Milky Way International Trading Corp., is the subject of a new recall effort after a massive amount of its imported canned corned beef was found to have been brought into the country “without the benefit of inspection.” Customers that purchased the product are urged not to consume it, and the recall from the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service is asking that anyone with the canned meat in their homes either throw it away or return it to the place of purchase for a refund.
In total, a whopping 297,715 pounds of canned corned beef is subject to recall. The food was imported between June 6, 2020, and Jan 21, 2021. The cans were sold under the brand name Ox & Palm and ranged in size from 7 ounces to 6 pounds. They may have appeared in retail locations packaged in bundles of up to 24, or they may have been sold individually. You can view the full list of products including the codes and dates on the cans on this PDF chart.
The product was first suspected of being uninspected after the Food Safety and Inspection Service received “a tip from an industry representative indicating that corned beef product received from Milky Way did not undergo FSIS import reinspection.” That’s not good, and while the product itself may indeed be perfectly fine, the guidelines in place for inspection were not met and therefore the USDA can’t give the food its stamp of approval.
“FSIS is concerned that some product may be in consumers’ pantries or in their refrigerators. Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase,” the recall bulletin states. “There have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about a reaction should contact a healthcare provider.”
If you suspect you may have purchased some of this uninspected meat, go ahead and check out the chart linked above, confirm whether or not the canned corned beef you have matches the identifying information, and either throw it away or return it. If you want your money back, you’ll obviously need to return it as opposed to discarding it. Either way, it’s not worth taking the risk on uninspected food, especially when the USDA is explicitly telling you to avoid eating it.