Canned tuna recalls expand with H-E-B's announcement of process deviation
- H-E-B is recalling more than 10,000 cans of Hill Country Fare branded chunk light tuna in oil.
- The recall was first initiated March 18, according to the company and FDA's websites, but it wasn't widely publicized until March 21. That places the recall in the same week as the recalls for Bumble Bee and Chicken of the Sea canned tuna brands.
- An equipment malfunction at a third-party co-packer may have caused the tuna to be undercooked, meaning the tuna may not be properly sterilized to protect against contamination of pathogens or spoilage organisms.
All three companies reported process deviations uncovered during a routine inspection. This involved equipment malfunctions that risk complete sterilization of the canned tuna products. Bumble Bee and H-E-B noted that the process deviation occurred at a third-party co-packing facility, though Chicken of the Sea did not.
Steve Mavity, Bumble Bee’s senior vice president of technical services and corporate quality, told CNN that at least two of them are related. Bumble Bee's recalled tuna was produced in Chicken of the Sea’s Georgia production facility.
John DeBeer, vice president of Quality and Compliance for Chicken of the Sea, told CNN that the company has replaced the malfunctioning machinery part and verified that the machine is working properly again.
This isn't the first time Bumble Bee and Chicken of the Sea canned tuna products have been caught up in the same recall. In 2013, the two companies together voluntarily recalled more than 3 million cans of tuna due to improper sealing, that time at Bumble Bee's California plant. The recall also included Brunswick canned tuna, a Bumble Bee Foods brand.
- Food Safety News H-E-B recalls tuna because of sterilization issues at plant