General Tso Chicken Recall: What to Know

The Weis Markets grocery store chain recalled three General Tso's Chicken packages sold in stores in April and early May. The packages were mislabeled, as the products included milk ingredients not listed on the label. Consumers with an allergy or sensitivity to milk could have severe symptoms if they consume the recalled products.

The ready-to-eat General Tso's Chicken meals were prepared, labeled, and sold at Weis Markets' deli areas between April 13 and May 11. The labels have the sell-by dates of April 13 to May 15. Although the products have not been in stores for almost a month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service is concerned that some consumers may still have the product in their refrigerators.

Consumers who bought the products should not eat the food. They should throw out the product or return it to the place of purchase. The recall covers products with the labels "Weis GENERAL TSO CHICKEN FAMILY MEAL Serving Size 1 cup Calories 500," "Weis GENERAL TSO CHICKEN SMALL MEAL Serving Size 1 cup Calories 500," and "Weis GENERAL TSO MEAL Serving Size 1 each Calories 910." You can find images of the labels from FSIS by clicking here.

The problem was discovered after a Weis Markets location in Sunbury, Pennsylvania, reported using correctly-labeled, USDA-inspected chicken products containing milk ingredients. However, they did not update the labels for the General Tso chicken meals. There have been no reports of illness linked to this issue, but anyone concerned should contact a healthcare provider. Weis Markets are only in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. Consumers with questions can contact the company at (866) 999-9347, option 5.

A milk allergy is among the most common food allergies in children, notes the Mayo Clinic. Many outgrow the allergy, but those that do not will have to keep avoiding milk products. An allergic reaction can happen soon after consuming milk. Some immediate symptoms include hives, wheezing, swelling of the throat, lips, or tongue, coughing or shortness of breath, and vomiting. Other symptoms, including runny nose, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea, may take more time to begin. A milk allergy can also cause anaphylaxis, which needs immediate medical attention. 

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Food allergies are caused by an "immune system malfunction," according to the Mayo Clinic. "If you have milk allergy, your immune system identifies certain milk proteins as harmful, triggering the production of immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies to neutralize the protein (allergen)," the Mayo Clinic explains. "The next time you come in contact with these proteins, IgE antibodies recognize them and signal your immune system to release histamine and other chemicals, causing a range of allergic signs and symptoms."