Plastic Contaminants Found In Summer Sausage Trigger Health Alert

The difference between a contaminated food product being recalled rather than a health alert being announced for it often depends on one factor, notes the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Is the product still available at supermarkets, groceries, or other retail outlets? If the product is still available, a voluntary recall is indicated. If not, a public health alert is announced to warn those who may still have the food items stored at home, either refrigerated or frozen.

That was certainly the case for the public health alert issued by the FSIS for two separately branded varieties of summer sausage: Jet High Prairie Meats Summer Sausage and Fantasma's Finest Summer Sausage. The two products were never available in retail outlets, but were only sold online, notes the FSIS. The alert was issued based on a complaint of foreign object contamination from a customer who purchased the sausages. More than one of these packages was reported to contain not just meat, but also pieces of transparent plastic.

What to do if you purchased these summer sausages

Foreign object contamination accounted for about 9% of recalls in 2021, notes the Public Interest Network, and plastic was among the most commonly found contaminants. To date, there have been no reports of sickness, choking, or other medical issues associated with the summer sausages included in the public health alert, per the FSIS. But if you think you may have purchased one of these items, there are a couple of easy ways to find out.

The Jet High and Fantasma summer sausages were both sold in one pound chubs, and both have the same lot codes and establishment numbers stamped on their labels. The former is 220715, the latter is EST. 31865. Sales of the contaminated sausages seem to have been centered in Kansas and Missouri, although the FSIS confirms that the products were sold to other locales as well. If you still have the product stored at home, the FSIS recommends tossing it out. Under no circumstances should you eat the sausage.