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Yesterday, Pinnacle Foods, the New Jersey–based manufacturer behind Aunt Jemima, announced it’d be phasing out 16 of the products in its portfolio, from frozen waffles to french toast, due to slumping sales. It was the latest plot twist in a saga that has been developing since last Friday, when the company announced a product recall that stretched across the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
Last Friday, Pinnacle announced it’d immediately be pulling a number of Aunt Jemima items from stores across the United States and Mexico following a discovery that one of its processing plants had become a breeding ground for listeria. The move was an entirely proactive, rather than reactive, gesture: No illnesses had been reported as of their recall announcement. One day later, though, the problem worsened slightly as the recall expanded to Canada, where three of the company’s products were suspected to be tainted with the same strains of listeria.
None of the affected products are dry mixes or syrups, but, otherwise, the recall does not discriminate: it affects all Best By dates for those recalled products, meaning Pinnacle doesn't quite have a good handle on how far back the problem stretches. Food recalls tend to attract alarmist headlines no matter their size, but these reports are, for once, requisite with the scope of the problem at hand.
In the United States and Mexico, the product recall extends to the following 18 products beneath the Aunt Jemima umbrella (plus one Hungry Man item):
- Aunt Jemima French Toast, 12.5oz, UPC 019600057703
- Aunt Jemima Cinnamon French Toast, 12.5oz, UPC 019600058908
- Aunt Jemima Whole Grain French Toast, 12.5oz, UPC 019600059684
- Aunt Jemima Homestyle Waffle, 17.18oz, UPC 019600062004
- Aunt Jemima Buttermilk Waffle, 17.18oz, UPC 019600062103
- Aunt Jemima Blueberry Waffle, 17.18oz, UPC 019600062202
- Aunt Jemima Low Fat Waffle, 17.18oz, UPC 019600062301
- Aunt Jemima Blueberry Pancake, 14.8oz, UPC 019600064701
- Aunt Jemima Oatmeal Pancake, 14.8oz, UPC 019600064909
- Aunt Jemima Whole Grain Pancake, 14.5oz, 019600066408
- Aunt Jemima Buttermilk Pancake, 14.8oz, UPC 019600068204
- Aunt Jemima Homestyle Pancake, 14.8oz, UPC 019600069102
- Aunt Jemima 60CT Club Pancakes Premium, UPC 019600435907
- Aunt Jemima Mini Pancakes, 14.5oz, UPC 019600054801
- Aunt Jemima Buttermilk Pancake Low Fat, 14.5oz, UPC 019600061007
- Aunt Jemima Lil Griddlers Blueberry, 14.5oz, UPC 019600054603
- Aunt Jemima 60CT Pancake Mexico, UPC 019600435921
Other breakfast items:
- Aunt Jemima French Toast & Sausage, 5.5oz, UPC 051000063915
- Hungry Man Selects Chicken & Waffles, 8/16oz, UPC 658276202903
In Canada, the recalled products are limited to the following:
- Aunt Jemima Waffles, 144CT, 3.57 kg, UPC 1001960043575 1;
- Aunt Jemima Original French Toast, 144CT, 6.1 kg, UPC 0 0019600058700
- Aunt Jemima Thick French Toast, 72CT, 4.86 kg, UPC 00019600435600
Pinnacle recommends consumers return these tainted products to their place of purchase for a full refund. In the meantime, it’s begun the process of de-shelving these products from stores. Stay safe.