The Beef Chili Recall That's Hitting Schools Over Plastic Contamination

If you work in a school or have kids that attend school in the United States, then there's a food recall you'll definitely want to know about. The Harrison, Ohio business J.T.M. Provisions Company has announced a recall of 22,530 pounds of ready-to-eat beef chili with beans. Though many Texans might be in favor of a recall due to the inclusion of beans in chili alone (it's the one ingredient Texas chili should never have, according to Alex Guarnaschelli), the real reason for the recall is a lot scarier (via the USDA). That's because the beef chili with beans might contain pieces of semi-rigid white plastic, which one customer reported finding in their chili.

That could be a choking or laceration hazard, which is especially alarming considering the fact that this beef chili with beans was purchased for the National School Lunch Program by USDA Foods, then shipped to California, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Wisconsin for use in school lunches. The 30-pound cases of ready-to-eat, frozen, boilable bags of chili are marked with lot code 23058 on each bag. That lot code and the date February 27, 2028, are on the cases themselves.

What to do if you have the recalled chili

It's unlikely that an everyday shopper would have a bag of this recalled beef chili with beans in their freezer, but schools aren't so lucky. The Food Safety and Inspection Service says that it's worried some of the recalled chilies might still be stashed away in the freezer or refrigerator of some school kitchens, so those working in a school cafeteria (or concerned parents) should make efforts to ensure the product isn't served. Instead, the beef chili with beans should be thrown away or returned.

What if you do find a foreign object, like a piece of plastic, in your food? According to the FSIS, if you ever have an issue with a meat, poultry, or egg product, you can report it on the USDA's website. You'll need to hold on to the original packaging, any object you found in the food, and the uneaten portion of the food. If your food doesn't contain meat or eggs, you'll need to contact the FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinator for your state. What if your kids are missing their favorite school cafeteria chili meal thanks to the recall? This 5-ingredient chili recipe is easy to make for them at home.