The job of the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), a division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), is to make sure the nation’s commercial supply of meat, poultry and egg products is safe, wholesome and appropriately labeled and packaged. On May 4, 2011, the FSIS issued a Class I high-risk recall regarding Smithfield’s Portobello mushroom-flavored pork loins.
According to the FSIS, more than 216,000 pounds of this Smithfield brand pork loin were being recalled because of the possible contamination of whey, a by-product of cheese and common allergen for individuals who are lactose intolerant.
During an internal label review, it was discovered that the item was prepared using an ingredient blend that contained the cow’s milk protein, however, product labels failed to list the whey as an ingredient thereby failing to inform individuals it was an ingredient contained within the product.
Affected products have been identified as those Smithfield pork loins that bear USDA marks of inspection EST. 413 and EST. 18079. The mislabeled pork products were distributed across the country to states as far south as Florida, north as Massachusetts and west as Illinois. Consumers should be wary of products bearing both the:
Food allergies and lactose intolerance are common and can have serious consequences. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are eight categories of foods that account for 90 percent of all allergic reactions. These include: cow’s milk, eggs, peanut, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soybeans and wheat.
Hives, breathing problems, loss of consciousness and digestive problems are a handful of symptoms food allergies can bring about. The CDC also reports that food allergies cause 150 deaths, 30,000 cases of anaphylaxis and 2,000 hospitalizations each year.
Smithfield Packing and the FSIS have not received any reports of adverse reactions from the product, but caution consumers to contact health-care providers about concerns. Product liability issues may arise for Smithfield if consumers suffered harm from consuming the product. If you or someone you know has experienced health problems as a result of eating these pork loins, contacting a product liability attorney is recommended.
Individuals located in North Carolina are encouraged to seek out legal options with a knowledgeable North Carolina product liability lawyer.