Over the weekend, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) informed grocery stores and customers to send back the two batches of 16-ounce, Oscar Mayer hot dogs that have "044700000632" and "00447000005300" product codes. The use by dates on both packages were June 16, 2014.
The department's reasoning for this recall was that a collection of these packages were improperly labeled, allegedly not stating that they included pasteurized cheese products.
This recall is considered a Class I concern to the FSIS, "where there is a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death," the Los Angeles Times cited. Over 96,000 oounds of Kraft Foods meat products are expected to be thrown out in the near future due to an error made at the Columbia, Missouri facility. The decision to recall the entire hot dog order was made to reduce the chance of food-related illnesses and allergic reactions, the New York Daily News explained.
The Classic Cheese Dogs Made with Turkey and Chicken, Pork Added, aren't supposed to contain milk in them.
Since the complaint was submitted on April 18, there have been no reports that a customer had an adverse reaction to the hot dogs for containing dairy, but this could pose a risk to hundreds of lactose intolerant Americans.
Food processing facilities have a responsibility to protect the general public with the proper labels. If there is no indication of specific allergens, millions of consumers will assume that they are safe to eat. Ingredient lists are one of the most important aspects of a food label.
This situation could be due to the human error of failing to update the facility's color label printer, but that doesn't change that Oscar Mayer could have caused a significant problem for lactose intolerant customers.