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Chef Boyardee at Center of New Recall Involving 700,000 Pounds of Canned Spaghetti

The friendly face of Chef Boyardee is probably frowning. The canned pasta company is embroiled in a massive recall affecting 700,000 pounds of canned spaghetti and meatballs, along with several other brands, the USDA announced late last week. The culprit of the recall is an allergen that went undeclared on labels as products shipped out nationwide between Jan. 2 and Jan. 12. Although it sounds scary, the allergen is as ubiquitous and unassuming as it gets, because it’s milk.

Conagra Brands Inc, Chef Boyardee’s parent company, was informed by an “ingredient supplier that the bread crumbs the company received and used in the recalled products potentially contained undeclared milk,” the USDA states in a news release. The sullied pasta contains 414,424 pounds of Chef Boyardee products in total, according to Fortune.

If you have a low tolerance for the painstaking process of boiling water and making pasta the hard way -- or are the parent of a small child -- it’s likely you have some kind of a canned spaghetti product in your fridge. Here are all the recalled products to watch out for, all of which come in 14.75-oz cans:

  • 131,718 lbs. of 14.75-oz. cans with “Libby’s Spaghetti and Meatballs MADE WITH PORK, CHICKEN AND BEEF IN TOMATO SAUCE” on the label with package code 2100701200 and Use By Date 01/02/19.
  • 71,614 lbs. of 14.75-oz. cans with “Del Pino’s SPAGHETTI & MEATBALLS MADE WITH PORK, CHICKEN AND BEEF IN TOMATO SAUCE” on the label with package code 2100701200 and Use By Date 01/02/19.
  • 38,330 lbs. of 14.75-oz. cans with  “Hy-Top Spaghetti and Meatballs Made with Pork, Chicken and Beef in Tomato Sauce” on the label with package code 2100701200 and Use By Date 01/02/19.
  • 22,064 lbs. of 14.75-oz. cans with “Food Hold Spaghetti & Meatballs MADE WITH PORK, CHICKEN AND BEEF IN TOMATO SAUCE” on the label with package code 2100701200 and Use By Date 01/02/19.
  • 21,975 lbs. of 14.75-oz. cans with “Essential EVERYDAY Spaghetti with Meatballs Made With Pork, Chicken and Beef in Tomato Sauce” on the label with package code 2100701200 and Use By Date 01/02/19.
  • 414,424 lbs. of 14.75-oz. cans with “Chef BOYARDEE Mini pasta shells & meatballs, Pasta and Meatballs made with Pork, Chicken and Beef in Tomato Sauce” on the label with package code 2100700500 and Use By Date 12/26/18.
  • 14.75-oz cans with “Hannaford Spaghetti & Meatballs in tomato sauce made with pork, chicken & beef” on the label with package code 2100701200 and Use By Date 01/02/19.
  • 14.75-oz cans with “Food Club Spaghetti & Meatballs Made With PORK, CHICKEN & BEEF” on the label with package code 2100701200 and Use By Date 01/02/2019.

“Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase,” the USDA advises. So yeah, Chef Boyardee’s got milk -- and the kind that hasn’t been deemed appropriate for your fridge.

No adverse reactions have been reported so far, but you may want to check your pantry if you have serious food allergies. More like Chef Boyar-Bummed, am I right? 

[h/t Inverse]

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Sam Blum is a News Staff Writer for Thrillist. He's also a martial arts and music nerd who appreciates a fine sandwich and cute dogs. Find his clips in The Guardian, Rolling Stone, The A.V. Club and Vice. He's on Twitter @Blumnessmonster