The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced last week that 1,464 pounds of frozen pizza will be recalled due to unknown allergen wheat ingredients on its product label. The pizzas were produced by Minnesota-based company Kettle River Products and were distributed throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin. Customers can return them to the point of purchase or simply dispose of them.
The USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced the issue with Kettle River Products' chicken alfredo pizza. According to the recall notice, "FSIS is concerned that some products may be in consumers' freezers. Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or return to the place of purchase." The specific product impacted by this recall is the 12-inch, 25-oz. plastic-wrapped "KETTLE RIVER Chicken Alfredo Pizza," with lot codes 21343, 21349, 21362 or 22011. Lot codes should be stamped on the bottom of the package.
These pizzas were shipped to retail stores and restaurants in the midwest, though vendors have been contacted and asked to take them off the shelves. Some fundraiser programs received the pizzas as well. The pizzas are frozen and heat-treated but not fully cooked.
Unlike other recent recalls, this one is an issue with labeling, not with contamination. Kettle River Products reportedly found that it used labels intended for a different product that does not contain wheat. The company caught the issue itself and notified FSIS. This is why the USDA mark of inspection is present on the pizzas even though it is being recalled.
So far, there have been no reports of adverse effects from this mishap, but wheat is an allergen gaining increasing attention in the U.S. It can have negative impacts on anyone, though some people are particularly susceptible to it with allergies like celiac disease. The recent prevalence of "gluten-free" products aims to provide alternatives to common foods containing wheat.
Those experiencing adverse effects of wheat intolerance should contact their healthcare provider. Customers in possession of Kettle River Chicken Alfredo Pizza are encouraged to dispose of it or return it to the point of sale. FSIS will be working to spread the word of this recall in the affected areas, and to ensure that vendors have gotten the products off the shelves.