Kraft Heinz Is Recalling 2,400 Pounds Of Packaged Ham And Cheese Loaf

Virtually all the foods we eat are processed, according to Mayo Clinic Health System because processing is defined as any alternation from the "natural state" of the food. Accordingly, even a hard-boiled egg has been processed, as the USDA explains. The same is true for canned tuna and frozen veggies, both of which benefit from processing, which Mayo says assures quality, freshness, and nutritional value. Whether processing may render a food less than healthy is a matter of degree, with "ultra-processed" foods being the ones that tend to raise the greatest concern among health experts, according to Medical News Today

"Ultra-processed" refers to foods derived through the extraction of flavors and nutrients and to which other flavors, colors, and preservatives have been added, Harvard Health Blog explains. Accordingly, cold cuts, and in particular, Kraft Heinz's pre-packaged Ham & Cheese Loaf, which is an extrusion of meat, cheese, and various additives, is ultra-processed. Kraft Heinz is now recalling 2,400 pounds of this product, but not because of the inherent health risks that apply to all cold cuts. 

Under-processed meats are to blame

On December 5, Kraft Heinz recalled approximately 2,400 pounds of packaged ham and cheese loaf because of "possible cross-contamination with under-processed products," according to an announcement made by the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). Apparently, Kraft Heinz made the discovery that some of the ham and cheese loaf product had been sliced on equipment that hadn't been cleaned after being used for slicing "under-processed" products, which appears to refer to cold cut products that hadn't yet been fully cooked. Accordingly, Kraft Heinz became concerned some runs of the ham and cheese product could sicken consumers.

Undercooked meat may contain foodborne pathogens, including salmonella, per the CDC. Those pathogens can survive on meat-slicing equipment, resulting in cross-contamination with what is sliced next. No illnesses have been reported, but consumers in Virginia and Ohio, where the packages in question were distributed for retail sale, are being urged to check their refrigerators/freezers for this product, which comes in 16-ounce packs. Produced on October 10, 2022, the labels bear establishment number "Est 537V" inside the USDA inspection mark, and the codes from "07 Feb 2023 20:40 7B" through "07 Feb 2023 22:16 7B." 

Any such products should be returned to their point of purchase or discarded. Questions about the recall should be directed to Lynsey Elve, Associate Director, Global Corporate Communications, The Kraft Heinz Food Company, at or call the Kraft Heinz Food Company Consumer Hotline at 1-866-572-3806.