The Unusual Reason Over 2,000 Pounds Of Skyline Chili Were Just Recalled

One regional cult-favorite food is being pulled from shelves this week over concerns that cans of the product actually contain something else altogether.

In a statement, the USDA announced that Morgan Foods, an Indiana-based company that describes itself as "a national leader in private-label soups, broths, gravies and sauces, beans, and kosher offerings," is recalling a whopping 2,205 pounds of canned Skyline Chili, a Midwestern favorite hailing from Cincinnati, Ohio.

The crux of the recall, which centers around cans produced on December 21, 2021, is the concern that cans labeled chili may actually contain cream of chicken soup. The mix-up was first reported by consumers who were understandably perplexed to find a creamy soup upon opening the cans. 

Although most consumers would be able to spot the difference between a cream-based soup and chunky chili on sight, the USDA warned of potential unexpected allergen exposure to the soup — which contains milk, wheat, and soy — if it were to be consumed. As of yet, there have been no confirmed reports of allergic reactions as a result of the consumption of the erroneous product.

The regional cult favorite was recalled over allergen concerns

The beloved regional product at the center of the recall is the creation of a chain of Cincinnati-based restaurants known for chili-centric dishes like coney-style hot dogs and chili-topped spaghetti. Over the years, Skyline Chili (which opened its first location in 1949) has become a Cincinnati icon, creating a cult-like following for its unique menu and ensuing commercialized canned chili.

The city's passion for Skyline Chili was most recently exhibited in the run-up to the Super Bowl, during which Cincinnati Bengals fans shotgunned cans of the chili to celebrate the football team's wins, a movement that was dubbed the "Chili Chug." Bengals tight end C.J. Uzomah summed up his love of the local product to the New York Times, saying: "You put it in a swimming pool, and I'll dive in there and eat my way out."

Now, in more unfortunate news for Cincinnatians following the Bengals' Super Bowl loss, their cherished chili is being temporarily yanked from store shelves. The U.S. Food Safety and Inspection Service recommends that consumers in possession of any of the potentially affected cans should return or throw away the product (via USDA). The cans in question, which were distributed nationwide are 10.5-ounce cans of Skyline Chili Original Chili with a lot code L2121, product code CHC8T UPY, and a best-by date of December 21, 2023.