Chicken of the Sea brand has joined Bumble Bee in a massive recall of tuna that is potentially undercooked. Tri-Union Seafoods, LLC, doing business as Chicken of the Sea International, is the latest canned tuna producer to issue a voluntary recall for marketing cans containing undercooked tuna. According to Fox News on March 21, over 107,000 cans have been recalled.
Per the FDA notice on March 17, the Chicken of the Sea voluntary recall was initiated “because the product may have been undercooked due to an equipment malfunction, which was uncovered during a routine inspection. These deviations were part of the commercial sterilization process and could result in contamination by spoilage organisms or pathogens, which could lead to life-threatening illness if consumed.”
A similar recall was issued by the FDA a day prior for Bumble Bee tuna. On March 16, nearly 32,000 cases were recalled “out of an abundance of caution due to the possible under-processing of the affected products discovered by the co-packer during its routine quality audit.”
A separate recall has also been issued by H-E-B Grocery Company, a San-Antonio based supermarket with 350 stores throughout Texas and northeast Mexico. According to the FDA safety announcement, H-E-B is voluntarily recalling 224 cases (10,752 cans) of Hill Country Fare brand 5 oz. Chunk Light Tuna in Oil. The recall is for the same concern – undercooked tuna due to an “equipment malfunction.”
As of the writing of this article, no illnesses have been reported. It appears the same malfunctioning cooker was involved in the shipment of potentially undercooked tuna to the three companies, though the plant location was not identified in any of the FDA releases.
“The health and safety of our consumers is our number one priority. As soon as we discovered the issue, we took immediate steps to initiate this voluntary recall, alerting our retail customers that received the product and instructing them to remove it from store shelves,” said Shue Wing Chan, president of Tri-Union Seafoods LLC.
The recall coding is as follows:
Chicken of the Sea products:
5 Oz. Canned Chunk Light Tuna in Oil sold at retailers nationwide in single cans between Feb. 10, 2016 and March 16, 2016. The UPC code is 0 4800000195 5 and the best by date is 2/10/19.
5 Oz. Canned Chunk Light Tuna in Water sold at retailers nationwide in single cans between Feb. 18, 2016 and March 16, 2016. The UPC code is 0 4800000245 7. Best by dates: 02/18/2019, 02/22/2019, 2/23/2019, 02/25/2019, 03/2/2019, 03/3/2019
Bumble Bee products:
5oz Bumble Bee Chunk Light Tuna in Water with label UPC 8660000020. Best by dates: 2/10/2019, 02/16/2019, 02/17/2019, 02/18/2019, 02/22/2019, 02/23/2019, 02/25/2019
5oz Bumble Bee Chunk Light Tuna in Oil with label UPC 8660000021 with best by date of 02/23/2019
4 Pack of 5oz Bumble Bee Chunk Light Tuna in Water with label UPC of 8660000736. Best by dates: 02/9/2019, 02/10/2019, 02/22/2019, 02/29/2019
Hill County Fare products:
Hill Country Fare Chunk Light Tuna in Oil with UPC code: 0 4122065335 5. Product lot code 6O9FZ SCEES. Best By date is 02/9/2019.
Customers who purchased the possible contaminated Bumble Bee, Hill County or Chicken of the Sea products can return the tuna at the retailer for a full refund.