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USDA Issues Health Alert for Meat Products Sold at Albertsons Over Possible Spoilage

The agency is urging consumers not to eat any of these foods.

As the second-largest supermarket company in the U.S., Albertsons covers a lot of people's grocery needs. If you're not shopping at Albertsons itself, you may be frequenting one of the other popular chains it owns, like Safeway or Vons. Either way, you'll want to pay attention to a new warning that concerns products sold at Albertsons and the other supermarkets owned by the company. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has issued a new health alert for certain meat products that could be spoiled. Read on to find out what you should be checking your freezer for.

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The USDA just issued a new public health alert about frozen meat products.

Albertson's supermarket grocery store freezer/ frozen foods aisle on July 12, 2011

Officials are now warning consumers about a potential health concern with some Signature Select Breakfast Bowls. On Feb. 15, the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced that it is "issuing a public health alert" for these frozen, not-ready-to-eat meat products.

The alert covers four different types of Signature Select Breakfast Bowls: Sausage, Bacon, Meat Lovers, and Sausage & Gravy. All of the products come in 7-ounce cardboard box packages and include the establishment number "EST 45210" on the top panel of the box.

"These items were shipped to Albertsons Companies retail locations in Northern California and Northern Nevada," the FSIS stated. "The Signature Select Breakfast Bowl products were available for purchase at the following Albertsons Companies banner stores: Andronico's Community Markets, Pak 'N Save, Safeway and Vons."

These breakfast bowls were potentially exposed to unsafe temperatures.

Signature Select Breakfast Bowl part of USDA alert

The public health alert was issued upon the discovery that these Signature Select Breakfast Bowls were potentially stored in unsafe conditions.

There are "concerns that [the] not-ready-to-eat meat products were subject to temperature abuse during storage at a distribution center prior to delivery to retailers," the FSIS explained. According to the announcement, the issue was discovered when the USDA agency was notified that the bowls had been stored in an unrefrigerated area.

"FSIS found that the product was held at an incorrect temperature and then shipped into commerce," the agency added. "All remaining inventory of the affected items have been removed from the stores and destroyed."

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These temperatures may have allowed bacteria to grow.

Breakfast egg scramble bowl with sausage potatoes mushrooms and cheddar cheese

Unsafe storing conditions for food can have serious consequences. The FSIS said that because the Signature Select Breakfast Bowls were subject to temperature abuse, this "may have resulted in the growth of spoilage organisms or pathogens." This can put people at risk of foodborne illnesses, according to the USDA.

"When exposed to unsuitable storage conditions, such as the Danger Zone (between 40 and 140° F), these organisms can multiply rapidly and they can release dangerous toxins that will make you sick if you consume the item, even if it's cooked to a safe internal temperature," the agency explains.

The pathogenic bacteria Clostridium perfringens is a "common cause of spoilage in meat and poultry," according to the USDA. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns that Clostridium perfringens is one of the most common causes of food poisoning, estimating that this bacterium alone causes nearly 1 million foodborne illnesses in the U.S. every year.

The USDA is warning consumers not to eat these products.

A woman holding her stomach in pain in the kitchen

A recall was not requested for the Signature Select Breakfast Bowls because they are no longer available for purchase, but the public health alert was issued to "ensure that consumers are aware that these products should not be consumed."

All of the affected bowls have best-by dates of Jan. 2024, so there is a possibility that some people may still have these products in their freezers.

"Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them," the FSIS warned. "These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase."

There have not been any "confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption" of the Signature Select Breakfast Bowls—but it's still a possibility. Common foodborne illness symptoms include diarrhea, stomach pain or cramps, nausea, vomiting, and fever, according to the CDC.

"Anyone concerned about an illness should contact a health care provider," the FSIS said.

Kali Coleman
Kali Coleman is a Senior Editor at Best Life. Her primary focus is covering news, where she often keeps readers informed on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and up-to-date on the latest retail closures. Read more
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