When you walk into the store and pick a canned food product from the shelf, you expect the contents of that product to be an exact replica of its packaging. In April this year, shoppers got a rude shock when they purchased the Campbell’s Homestyle Chicken Soup, Health Request made with whole grain pasta, from various stores across America.
What they found in their cans, however, was not chicken and pasta. Instead, there was the Italian-Style Homestyle Healthy Request, made of spinach and meatballs in chicken soup. This, in very polite terms, is what most people would describe as a gross mistake. The Campbell Soup Company did not learn of the mistake up until a number of customers called them to complain about the wrong product in the cans.
This brings to mind several questions. Are packaging and canning done purely by machines, or under human supervision? For thousands of cans to be filled with the wrong product and shipped to stores all across America, wasn’t there a point at which a countercheck was made? To check that the product labeled is indeed the product canned, and that it is safe for consumption? This gross mistake will definitely impact the sales at Campbell. But, it also goes to show how mass production of canned food can have its negative side.
The Risks Associated With Canned Food Mishaps
Let’s analyze the risk associated with such a mistake. Just as the USDA (U.S Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service) noted when they announced a class 1 recall of the product, it contained possible allergens, such as milk, which had not been declared on the packaging. If consumed by people with severe allergies, this canned food could have caused serious health complications and even worse, death. When such mistakes occur, because Campbell’s soup is not an isolated case, the USDA steps in to recall the products. The organization indicates that these products pose a health hazard and could have adverse effects on health.
What Should You Do In Such Situations?
When this happens, it is important that you follow the guidelines and either throw the product away, or return it. If you have by chance already consumed it, you should seek medical attention. Especially if you’re noticing a change in your wellness, such as stomach cramps, a runny stomach, or any other symptoms, whether mild or punitive.
Unfortunately, there are individuals who don’t take such recalls seriously. And, sometimes they end up getting into a lot of unnecessary problems after consumption. It is important to hold the companies accountable when they make such mistakes, and allow the USDA to play its part. But, we all have the burden of being responsible for our own lives.
The moment you open a can of food and notice anything that seems out of place, you should report it. To do so, you can use the helpline provided on the label. And, by no means should you consume such a product.
Ideally, processed foods are packed with chemicals and elements that are not always good for your health. So, as much as possible, choose to eat freshly cooked food. And, when you buy canned goods, ensure they are not expired and that the contents look, taste, and feel right.
If you have concerns or questions regarding any processed consumables, contact the USDA consumer hotline at (866)400-0965 and you will be attended to.