Chicken Alfredo Pizzas Are Being Recalled Due To This Undeclared Allergen

The USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has issued a recall on frozen, not-fully-cooked Chicken Alfredo pizzas produced by Kettle River Products between December 12 and January 3. Kettle River Products discovered that they had inadvertently used labels intended for a different product on these pizzas, and notified the FSIS, who issued the recall. It's considered a Class II Low-Risk recall, which means "there is a remote probability of adverse health consequences from use of the product."

The lot codes — which are stamped on the product packaging, near the bottom — for these incorrectly labeled pizzas are 21343, 21349, 21362 and 22011. The recalled items also bear the establishment number (which can be found inside the USDA mark of inspection) of P-04203.

The problem: wheat. The Kettle River chicken Alfredo pizzas in question bear labels that do not include wheat as an ingredient, even though the products does indeed contain it. Wheat is one of the eight most common known food allergens, and food allergies are no joke. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, 32 million Americans suffer from food allergies, which can produce symptoms like swelling, itching, difficulty breathing, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and the most severe reaction, per Mayo Clinic, anaphylaxis.

Check your label, please!

Anaphylaxis resulting from food allergens accounts for 30,000 emergency room visits in this country each year, as well as 2,000 hospitalizations and 150 deaths, per the USDA. According to The Washington Post, 0.3% of Americans suffer from an allergy to wheat. This is not the same as Celiac disease, which is an intolerance of gluten. Wheat allergies largely affect children, and most outgrow it, though some people can develop the allergy in adulthood (via Mayo Clinic).

Kettle River Pizza is a family-owned-and-operated business headquartered in Askov, MN. They describe themselves as a small-town, community-oriented business. Their products are found mostly in stores in Minnesota, like Super Ones, Little Stores, Market Place, and Chris's in Sandstone and Pine City. They are also served in restaurants, bars, and bowling alleys in the area. Kettle River also has a robust fundraising operation — the FSIS cautioned that some of these mislabeled products could have been part of fundraisers in Minnesota and Wisconsin. If you have a frozen Kettle River Chicken Alfredo pizza in your freezer, or are dining out in the area and choose to partake of one, please make sure that the product is safe, especially if you are one of the unfortunate few Americans who have a wheat allergy.