A tip from an anonymous whistleblower has triggered the recall of more than half a million pounds of uncooked pork products produced by Morris Meat Packing of Maywood, Illinois.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said in a statement that a whistleblower contacted federal officials to report that Morris Meat Packing was churning out thousands of raw pork products without the benefit of inspection. The company allegedly produced these products on the weekend outside of USDA inspection hours and marked them as inspected.
The recalled products include 515,000 pounds of bacon, pork loin, ribs, chops, hocks, and a multitude of other items. A full list of the products can be found on the USDA’s website.
According to the USDA, the products subject to the recall were produced on Saturdays from Nov. 25, 2017, to Nov. 9, 2019. They bear the establishment number “EST. 18267” inside the USDA mark of inspection on the products’ packaging.
The whistleblower contacted the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), which acted on the tip. The agency said that it has not confirmed any reports of illness associated with the recalled products, but it expressed concern that some of the uninspected meat may still be in consumers’ freezers and refrigerators.
Any consumers who suspect they may have been sickened after consuming the recalled products should contact their health care provider.
The USDA urges anyone who has purchased any of the recalled products not to consume them. The products should be discarded or returned to the store where they were purchased.
It’s not clear why Morris Meat Packing was producing pork products outside of inspection hours. Any products that aren’t inspected by government officials could be unsafe to consume.
The USDA announcement does not specify where the products were shipped, only that they were sent to retail locations and distributors in Illinois. The agency says that any consumers who have questions about the pork recall should call Frank Masellis, the president of Morris Meat Packing, at 708-865-8566.
The USDA urges anyone with food safety concerns to call the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) or live chat via Ask USDA from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Consumers can also report a problem with meat, poultry, or egg products in the USDA’s e Electronic Consumer Complaint Monitoring System, which can be accessed 24 hours a day at https://foodcomplaint.fsis.usda.gov/eCCF/.