Third Hot Pockets Recall This Year

Nestle Prepared Foods Company has recalled over 200,000 pounds of its Hot Pocket Pizza Sandwiches.  According to the Associated Press, the pizza sandwiches contained small pieces of hard, red plastic and other foreign materials, including a clear, flexible, rubber-like material that splintered off of a testing device during processing.  The US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS)  is saying that the recall totals about 215,660 pounds of frozen stuffed pepperoni pizza sandwich products, known as Hot Pockets Pepperoni Pizza.  The USDA issued the warning to consumers who bought Hot Pockets Pepperoni Pizza stuffed sandwiches, saying that the recalled products could put consumers at high risk and that the foreign materials pose a risk of serious injury to consumers.

The problem was discovered after Nestle received consumer complaints.  The FSIS has not received any consumer complaints or reports of injury at this time; to date, Nestle received four consumer complaints.  Spokeswoman Roz O’Hearn said the reported foreign substance might have splintered off from a testing device and some of it could be “buried inside with sharp edges.”

The recall involves 54-ounce, 12-pack cartons of Hot Pockets Pepperoni Pizza brand stuffed sandwiches. Printed on the side of each carton is “8157544614D,” “EST 7721A,” and “BEST BEFORE JAN2010.”  The Hot Pocket Pizza Sandwiches were produced on June 5 and distributed to retail establishments nationwide.

Large grocery chains nationwide, such as Stop and Shop and Giant Grocery have also issued alerts to consumers about the Hot Pockets Pepperoni Pizza recall, removing all recalled Hot Pocket products from their shelves.  Consumers with questions should call the Nestle Consumer Services Hotline at 1-800-350-5016.

This is not the first time Nestle Hot Pockets have been the subject of a recall this year.  Last month, Nestle Prepared Foods Company recalled another nearly 200,000 pounds of its Lean Pockets spinach artichoke chicken sandwiches.  In that recall, Nestle Prepared Foods Company recalled nearly 200,000 pounds of frozen stuffed chicken sandwiches over concerns that the products may have contained pieces of plastic.  Nestle received two consumer reports of injuries from its Lean Pockets spinach artichoke sandwiches according to the USDA.  That recall included nine-ounce boxes of its Lean Pockets Spinach Artichoke Chicken sandwiches, which were produced May 23 and distributed to stores nationwide.

Earlier this year, in February, Nestle USA issued another recall of  two types of its Hot Pockets. The Philly Steak and Cheese Hot Pocket and the Croissant Crust Philly Steak and Cheese Hot Pocket.  Both products were recalled because both may have been made with beef that was part of the February 17 Westland/Hallmark Meat of Chino, California recall.  In that recall, the two types of Hot Pockets both had a sell-by date of June 2009.  At that time, the Wall Street Journal reported there are 30,331 cases of regular Hot Pockets and 18,933 cases of the Croissant Crust Hot Pockets involved in the recall.