Here's What You Need To Know About The Bacon Bits Recall

Americans adore bacon. It's a sizzling-hot, pork-tastic food and it seems like nothing can stop us from ordering it out, bringing it home, and thinking up new and creative ways to use it. It's not just for breakfast — savvy restaurants and recipe developers are always looking for ways to capitalize on the enduring craveability and versatility of crispy pork fat, per Nation's Restaurant News. These days, bacon shows up in everything from cocktails to sweet treats like maple-bacon cupcakes, donuts, and an over-the-top apple pie with a top crust fashioned from bacon (via YouTube).

When they're not busy eating their preferred meat, bacon fans tend to enjoy memes and T-shirts with clever bacon-isms, like: Life is uncertain ... eat bacon today. I want someone to look at me the way I look at bacon. You can't buy happiness, but you can buy bacon.

Indeed, if you ask some people, everything's better with bacon, but not if said bacon contains an unexpected and potentially dangerous crunch. You may have heard that mega meat producer Smithfield has recalled a whopping 185,000 pounds of bacon products after a customer reported finding metal in a bacon topping. So before you microwave some slices for breakfast or sprinkle a handful of bacon bits on a salad, check your refrigerator and pantry for already-cooked bacon wearing the Smithfield label and other labels produced by Smithfield.

Smithfield bacon bits and other products could be contaminated with metal

What prompted this massive recall of the popular grocery store bacon brand? According to an advisory from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service, at least five bacon products produced by Smithfield Packaged Meats Corp. "may be contaminated with extraneous materials, specifically metal.”

The products were produced during short windows in February and March (February 21 to Feb. 23 and March 3 to March 5). So far, all of the products in question are in five-pound packages. They include Smithfield and other retail brands of ready-to-eat bacon products and bacon bits. Consumers can view the specific products, including lot/product codes and labels on the USDA's website.

Why is this recall important? Because the bacon items were shipped to distributors, big-box stores, and supermarkets all over the country. But the problem doesn't end there: The products might have been used to make or garnish other items. No one has reported bodily harm or other consequences as a result of eating these products, but anyone with questions and concerns can contact Smithfield at 1-844-342-2596.

No food recall due to "foreign matter contamination” should be taken lightly, but such recalls have become increasingly common as the food we eat becomes more processed, according to food inspection company Flexxray. Earlier this year, for example, America New York Ri Wang Food Group Co. recalled several of its meat products after a consumer found pieces of metal in a pork stick (via FSIS).