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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

ConAgra’s Business Strategy – buy one, throw it away and buy something else – peanut butter perhaps?

What a great way to make money. Produce a contaminated product, do not remove it from store shelves, but urge consumers to throw it away. So consumers buy it, throw it away, and they are still hungry – Brilliant.

Despite warnings, ConAgra’s Salmonella Pot Pies are still on store shelves – And, why no recall?  ConAgra’s response is this:

On October 9 ConAgra Foods announced that Banquet brand frozen chicken or turkey pot pie products or generic store brand not-ready-to-eat pot pie products bearing the number “P-9” printed on the side of the package were contaminated with Salmonella. The generic store brand not-ready-to-eat pot pie products bearing the number “P-9” printed on the side of the package are sold under the generic store brand names as shown below:

* Hill Country Fare (sold at HEB);
* Food Lion (sold at Food Lion);
* Great Value (sold at Wal-Mart);
* Kirkwood (sold at Aldi);
* Kroger (sold at Kroger); and,
* Meijer (sold at Meijer).

ConAgra suggested that consumers might return these products to ConAgra Foods for a refund. If consumers prefer, they may return the product to the store from which it was purchased for a refund; consumers should discard the product prior to returning the entire package to their retail store.

It is also great to see our government weigh in to advise us not to eat ConAgra Salmonella Pot Pies – And, why no recall?

FSIS Issues Public Health Alert For Frozen Chicken and Turkey Pot Pies

FSIS is advising consumers to discard and not to eat these chicken or turkey pot pie products until we are able to determine the source, products and potential production dates of contamination and to verify proper cooking instructions for these not-ready-to-eat products.

Well at least the State Health Departments of Health care about the public. And, again, why no recall?

Salmonella cases traced to Banquet brand pot pies – Consumers urged to discard product

Consumers who have Banquet or other brands of pot pies with a code beginning with 5009 in their freezer should not eat them. The product should be thrown away or can be held but not consumed until the investigation is completed and additional recommendations on its safety are available.

Josh Funk, AP reporter in Omaha broke the following story this evening:

ConAgra defends its pot pies and decision not to recall them

A day after warning consumers about the link between pot pies and a salmonella outbreak, officials from ConAgra Foods Inc. and USDA defended the decision not to recall the product. But two East Coast grocery chains announced plans Wednesday to pull the Banquet and generic pot pies from store shelves, and a prominent food poisoning lawyer criticized the decision not to recall the pies.

ConAgra spokeswoman Stephanie Childs said the Omaha-based company decided with USDA officials that a consumer alert would more appropriate than a recall, and consumer interests would still be protected. “From the consumer perspective, there’s not much difference,” Childs said.

But unlike with a recall, the pot pies remain available in many stores.

And the most important part:

But Bill Marler, of Seattle-based law firm Marler Clark, said recalling the product would have been the right course of action. “Frankly, given the numbers of ill persons … the responsible thing for ConAgra to do is to recall all implicated product,” said Marler, whose firm handles many food-borne illness cases. “Chicken and turkey pot pies should not be contaminated with salmonella.”

  • I wish that the stores in my area would follow the lead of Stop and Shop and Giant Food and pull the pies themselves.