Panera Bread has recalled one of its favorite products, according to a new notice posted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The recall names Panera at Home Southwest Corn Chowder as the culprit, one of the soups not sold in the chain's restaurants. Panera Bread in-store customers can rest easy due to that fact. However, grocery store shoppers need to heed the warning and should read ahead, especially if they recently bought the soup.
The recall notice comes by way of Blount Fine Foods, who produces the soup on Panera's behalf. The company recalled one lot of 16 oz. cups of Panera at Home Southwest Corn Chowder due to an undeclared wheat allergen. The lot contains 2,569 cases of product, which are identifiable by the lot number (042122-2K), UPC (077958690812) and "Use By" date (June 30, 2022). The Panera Bread chowder in question was distributed in 10 states: California, Iowa, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Texas, Virginia and Washington.
This wheat-allergen-related recall might seem unimportant to some, for those who are allergic to wheat (or just have any sort of sensitivity) "run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reactions," per the recall statement. Blount does make note that, as of the release, "no consumer complaints or illnesses have been reported" in relation to the Panera at Home Southwest Corn Chowder. The wheat allergen issue was "discovered at a grocery store during the restocking process."
Customers who need more information about the chowder recall can call 1-866-674-4519. (The phone line is only open Monday to Friday between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. ET.) In terms of a refund, shoppers can return the affected product to the place of purchase or contact Blount Fine Foods via their official website.
As of this writing, the recall has not been extended to any other Panera Bread or Blount Fine Foods product. Panera Bread's fellow Panera Brands chains, Caribou Coffee and Einstein Bros. Bagels, are also clear of this recall.
Per Blount's "About Us" section on its website, it has been in business with Panera Bread since 2008. Since the partnership began, it has been "committed to becoming an effective and invaluable part of the Panera family." This is the second one of Blount's Panera Bread products to be recalled in the past year. On Aug. 5, 2021, the company recalled 6,384 pounds of Panera Bread at Home Chicken Tortilla Soup that was possibly "contaminated with extraneous material, specifically pieces of a gray nitrile glove." Complaints to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service sparked that recall, per a statement shared by the FSIS. Blount also dealt with another undeclared wheat allergen-related recall back in May 2018, when its own Blount Fine Foods-branded Chicken Tortilla Soup was pulled from shelves.