Meatball Recall Issued

Consumers in Canada are being urged not to eat certain meatball products after a new recall hit the market. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) announced on Feb. 3 that it is conducting a food safety investigation after a recall was issued for Apetito HFS brand and Heart to Home Meals brand meatball products, which were found to contain a number of undeclared allergens, including egg, milk, and wheat.

According to a notice posted by the CFIA, the recall affects several products. Both Apetito HFS' Meatballs in Gravy, sold in 329-gram size, and Meatballs and Peppers, sold in a 337-gram size, are affected. These products have codes of "23 DE 12" and "23 DE 20." Also included in the recall is Heart to Home Meals' Honey Garlic Meatballs in a 318-gram size with codes "23 NO 29" and "24 JA 09," Spaghetti and Meatballs in a 356-gram size with code 23 DE 19," Sweet and Sour Meatballs sold in a 305-gram size with code "23 NO 29," and Meatballs in Mushroom Sauce in a 364-gram size with codes "23 DE 01" and "24 JA 10." The recalled products were sold in the Canadian provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia.

The recall was issued because they contain egg, milk, and wheat which are not declared on the label. Egg, milk, and wheat are common food allergies. Signs of symptoms of a food allergy can occur a few minutes or a few hours after consumption of a product containing the allergen. Common signs and symptoms, which can range from mild to severe, include swelling or itching around the mouth and throat, skin rashes, hives, headache, nasal congestion, vomiting, or other digestive problems. In some instances, food allergies can cause anaphylaxis, a life-threatening reaction that narrows the airways and can block breathing. According to Mayo Clinic, "milk is the third most common food – after peanuts and tree nuts – to cause anaphylaxis."

Due to the health risk the products pose, the CFIA gave the recall a Class 1 classification, the highest classification that can be given. This classification level means "there is a high risk that consuming the food may lead to serious health problems or death." The CFIA did note, however, that there have been no reported reactions related to the recalled products at this time. The agency said the recalled meatball products should not be consumed if consumers are allergic to the ingredients of egg, milk, or wheat. Consumers with celiac disease or other gluten-related disorders also should not eat the products.