Over 130,000 Pounds Of Turkey Kielbasa Recalled Over Bone Fragments

Sausage fans, beware: Roughly 133,039 pounds of ready-to-eat turkey kielbasa are being pulled from shelves nationwide. According to the USDA, the Denmark, Wisconsin-based company Salm Partners, LLC is warning consumers not to eat its turkey kielbasa after multiple discoveries of the product being contaminated with bone fragments. The recall was announced on January 5 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS).

The affected product is the 13-ounce plastic vacuum-sealed packages of "PARKVIEW TURKEY POLSKA KIELBASA." The recalled batch was produced on October 27, 2023 and October 30, 2023, and the packaging is printed with the product indicator number P-32009 and "use by" dates of April 24, 2024 or April 27, 2024, respectively. Customers who have purchased the recalled turkey kielbasa are instructed to either throw it away or return it to the place it was purchased.

Salm Partners is the "nation's largest co-manufacturer of fully cooked sausage and hot dogs," which are produced using a cook-in-package process and are then distributed to a variety of commercial brands and retailers. Salm Partners issued the recall voluntarily, notifiying the FSIS after receiving multiple customer complaints regarding bone fragments in its turkey kielbasa. Luckily, no consumer injuries or illnesses have been reported so far, except for what the USDA describes as "one minor oral injury."

A good sign in contamination detection, but a reminder of an industry-wide issue that urgently needs remedying

Food recalls related to foreign object contamination increased significantly in 2023. This includes metal fragments, plastic shards, small bones, and even insects. Still, the increase might not necessarily be because there have been more recall-worthy incidents, but rather because there have been improvements in detection technology — which is both reassuring for the future and unsettling for the past. The USDA recalled a whopping 700% more food units in 2022 than in 2021 (via Entrepreneur). In short, the food consumers are buying hasn't suddenly become more dangerous, but heightened FDA monitoring and the introduction of third-party testing companies are now catching potential problems before they have the chance to unfold.

The dark side of these technological strides is the increasing disconnect between consumers and their food, particularly when mass recalls pertain to meat products, like the most recent Salm Partners turkey kielbasa issue. Over 58,000 pounds of ground beef were recalled over an E. coli scare back in September, and another 13 tons of boneless chicken bites were recalled in a separate incident in December for plastic contamination — and these are only two examples. As U.S. meat production operations grow in size and industrialization, opportunities for food to become contaminated also increase as more and more animals are processed.