What Bacon Fans Should Know About The Smithfield Recall

What is there to say about bacon? This kitchen all-star seems to be almost universally beloved, whether it's enjoyed as classic, crispy strips at breakfast; piled onto a cucumber and cream cheese sandwich at lunch; shot through an indulgent sweet potato casserole at dinner; or even worked into an apple pie at dessert. Fans of this fatty, porky treat love the full flavor and rich texture it brings to a range of dishes, and, undoubtedly, one of bacon's star turns is when it's served rendered and crunchy.

There is, perhaps, no food as satisfying as crispy bacon, eaters' love of which led to the development of packaged, ready-to-eat bacon bits that can be sprinkled on a variety of dishes for added flavor and crunch. Although bacon bits can get a bad rap due to the fact that some of the ones on the market don't actually contain pork (via McCormick), there are pork producers — including Smithfield — who market the real deal. But if this is a product you've purchased recently from Smithfield, heads up, because that company just recalled nearly 200,000 pounds of precooked bacon items.

These bacon toppings may contain metals

Crispy bacon brings its delightful texture and porky flavor to salads, loaded potato skins, nachos, and other dishes. For those occasions when you don't have the time to crisp, drain, and crumble bacon at home, packaged bacon toppings can make a convenient alternative — but, as with all processed foods, things can sometimes go awry on the manufacturing end. Such was the case with a large lot of Smithfield precooked bacon toppings, 185,610 pounds of which have been recalled by the Iowa-based pork producer.

According to a notice published by the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), a variety of fully cooked bacon toppings sold by the packaged meats corporation were recalled due to possible contamination with metals. The brand issued the recall after a customer who found metal in their purchased pork topping called in a complaint, though no injuries or illnesses have been reported thus far.

The affected products all come in five-pound packages, according to the FSIS, and include Golden Crisp Patrick Cudahy Precooked Bacon Topping in both regular and applewood smoked varieties; Smithfield Precooked Bacon Topping; Smithfield Fully Cooked Bacon Topping; and Member's Mark Fully Cooked Bacon Crumbles. Sold all over the country, the recalled products have the establishment number "EST. 27384" written inside the USDA mark of inspection. Retailers have been instructed to remove the products from store shelves, and customers can return them to their place of purchase for a full refund.