Tuna Recall Expands to More Than 1 Million Cans

9:18 PM, Mar 8, 2013   |    comments
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Kim Painter, Special for USA TODAY

A recall of Bumble Bee and Chicken of the Sea tuna has expanded and includes more than 1 million 5-ounce cans that the companies say were improperly sealed at a California plant.

No illnesses have been reported and the manufacturing problem that caused the mistake has been fixed, the companies say. The loose seals could allow the fish to spoil and sicken consumers, they say. Consumers and retailers should throw out the tuna, some of which was on sale as recently as Wednesday, say updated statements from the manufacturers.

The recall involves 659,784 cans of Chicken of the Sea tuna in water and oil, says Erin Mrozek, consumer marketing manager for Chicken of the Sea, owned by Tri-Union Seafoods. Mrozek says the recalled tuna was canned at Bumble Bee's California plant. "Manufacturers will sometimes use third-party suppliers," she says.

As of Thursday afternoon, the Bumble Bee recall included more than 22,500 cases of tuna in water and oil, according to a statement from Steve Mavity, a Bumble Bee Foods senior vice president. The company did not provide a number of cans, but the recall notice says each case includes 24 to 48 cans, meaning the number of cans involved is more than 540,000. That statement said the recall was related to an "issue on a manufacturing line, which has been corrected."

"We're voluntarily recalling products to ensure the highest margin of safety and quality," Mavity said.

The Bumble Bee recall includes chunk light and chunk white tuna in water and oil sold from Jan. 17 until Wednesday, with best-by dates from Jan. 14, 2016, to Jan. 18, 2016. Specific code numbers are listed here, in a company statement posted by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The Chicken of the Sea recall includes chunk light tuna in oil sold Jan. 23 to Wednesday, with a best-by date of Jan. 15, 2017; it includes chunk light tuna in water sold Feb. 4 to Feb. 27, with a best-by date of Jan 18, 2017. Some of the specific code numbers are listed here; the company says an updated list has been provided to the FDA and should be posted soon.

Both companies say consumers can call them with questions. The number for Chicken of the Sea is (800) 597-5898. The Bumble Bee number is (800) 800-8572.

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