Everything We Know About The Empanada Recall In The Midwest

If you live in the Midwest and you're a fan of Spanish, Latin American, or Portuguese food, there's a massive empanada recall happening across the region. The recall follows an investigation by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and affects over 3,000 pounds of chicken and beef empanadas sold by the company SAS Foods Enterprises, Inc.

According to a press release from the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service, the "problem was discovered after FSIS received an anonymous tip and initiated an investigation."

So far, the recall only affects five Midwestern states: Illinois (where SAS Foods Enterprise is located), Indiana, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Ohio. Fortunately, in the same press release, the USDA shared, "There have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products." 

Still, any time food gets recalled, it's natural to be concerned. Keep reading for everything we know so far about the empanada recall.

The affected food wasn't inspected by the FDA

According to Delish, "[SAS Food Industries] apparently manufactured these empanada products without federal inspection and [they] were labeled with a false USDA mark of inspection label." 

The affected products are labeled as "SAS Food EMPANADAS DE POLLO CHICKEN PATTIES" and "SAS Food EMPANADAS DE CARNE BEEF PATTIES," with both varieties coming in a one-pound zip-lock bag or a clear, plastic container. Any of these items manufactured between January 1 and September 11 of this year could be affected. In the press release, the USDA noted its concern that consumers might have the product frozen in their freezers and encouraged people to either dispose of the product or return it to its point of purchase if found.

The USDA also shared that "the products subject to recall bear establishment number 'EST. 38548' inside the USDA mark of inspection; however, the recalling company has no affiliation with Establishment 38548."

As noted, the silver lining so far is that nobody appears to have gotten sick from consuming the products. But without a real stamp of approval from the USDA, it's risky to eat the items. If you live in one of the Midwestern states affected by the recall and you've purchased either variety of empanada, it's worth checking to confirm whether the USDA mark reads "EST. 38548."

If you do have one of the affected products, or you think you may have eaten them at some point in the past year, you can call the toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854). You can also use the live chat, Ask USDA, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday.