Well, here's some news that's been lighting up food and sports blogs alike. Last Friday, McCain Foods USA, Inc., manufacturers of Roundy’s Brand Frozen Southern Style Hash Browns and Harris Teeter Brand Frozen Southern Style Hash Browns, issued a voluntary recall for both products.
Their justification? The products, they feared, may have been laced accidentally with “extraneous golf ball materials” that were harvested alongside the potatoes, posing quite a few risks to consumers, from choking hazards to potential mouth lacerations.
First, the specifics: the Roundy’s hash browns were sold in Marianos, Metro Market, and Pick ‘n Save supermarkets in Illinois and Wisconsin. The Harris Teeter hash browns were sold, meanwhile, in the Carolinas, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, and Virginia (both the FDA and McCain's declined to specify which supermarkets, exactly, this variety was sold in). All affected products were distributed after January 19 of this year, and they have a production code date of B170119 stamped on them.
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McCain stressed that there were no specific incident reports that prompted this recall. (Thank God!) The FDA is advising anyone who’s bought these products to throw them out or return them.
Folks, there’s no way around it: This is the most bizarre news I’ve come across in quite some time, certainly in the realm of food recalls. No other recall in recent memory, from salmonella in Jalapeño chips to listeria in raw milk cheese, has involved chopped remnants of what you’d find on a putting green. All the more reason to make hash browns on your own, I guess.
What's the most bizarre food recall you remember? Let us know in the comments.
Mayukh Sen is a James Beard Award-winning food and culture writer in New York. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the New Yorker, Bon Appetit, and elsewhere. He won a 2018 James Beard Award in Journalism for his profile of Princess Pamela published on Food52.