How can chicken be so shellfish? When you purchase something called “Innovasian Crispy Chicken with Almonds Entrée” and the product label makes no mention of shrimp, you shouldn’t expect to find any shrimp. Yet, a consumer found such unannounced shellfish in this product, which would shrimply be unacceptable for those allergic to shellfish. That consumer wasn’t too chicken to complain about this finding to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). Now, Mountain View Packaging, LLC, is recalling around 6,013 pounds of this frozen, ready-to-eat product, because it wouldn’t be quite so “ready to eat” if you happen to be one of the 2% or so of Americans with shellfish allergies. That percentage is based on a study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology in 2004 and could potentially be higher.
So if you or anyone around you has such allergies and recently bought this product from Walmart, don’t go “winner winner chicken dinner” just yet. First, check your package, your 18.5 ounce package of frozen chicken, that is. Look for a lot code of 22321-1, a universal product code (UPC) of 695119120499, and a best by date 05/24/2023. This will help you fish out whether your product is one those encompassed by the recall. You can also compare the photos of the label provided by the USDA FSIS with what you find on your package—meaning, again, the “Innovasian Crispy Chicken with Almonds Entrée” package.
The following PIX11 News tweet showed a photo of the package:
This recall is fairly far-reaching as such products have been sold in Walmart Stores across 28 different states in the U.S. This includes all of the stores on the list provided by Walmart.
The USDA FSIS indicated that this is a Class I recall, which is the highest level of recall and is defined as one that “involves a health hazard situation in which there is a reasonable probability that eating the food will cause health problems or death.” Failing to disclose an ingredient on a product label is not the same thing as failing to disclose something on a Tinder profile. Anyone who expects dating profiles to always be accurate probably hasn’t been on a lot of dates. By contrast, product labels are supposed to be trusted sources of information. You typically use such labels to know what specifically may be in products and what in turn may go into your mouth. This can be especially important when the ingredient is a potential allergen.
Shellfish allergies are among the most common food allergies in the U.S. Allergic reactions to shellfish can vary from mild discomfort to life threatening anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that can affect your body where your airways may tighten to the point that you can’t breathe. And breathing is kind of important.
Anaphylactic reactions can happen even within seconds of exposure to shellfish, which may not give much time to administer treatment. The primary initial treatment for such a reaction is epinephrine, which should be given as soon as possible. That’s why it’s a good idea for those with severe allergies to carry around an epinephrine auto-injector. It is preferable to always have at least two doses on hand since as the musical group Boys Like Girls sang, “Two Is Better Than One” and it may be too risky to rely on having just one dose around.
It’s not clear how many wayward shrimps may have made their way to different “Innovasian Crispy Chicken with Almonds Entrée” packages. But even a single piece of shrimp popping up unexpectedly in a product could be a big deal. After all, it may only take a very small amount of the stuff to trigger a major reaction if you happen to be severely allergic to shellfish.
If you are indeed allergic to shellfish, be very wary about crustaceans such as shrimp, lobster, or crab. You may be able to eat mollusks like scallops, oysters, clams and mussels without having any reactions. But before you clam up or flex your mussels, check with your doctor first to see if consuming such mollusks will indeed be OK.
So check your freezer or refrigerator for any “Innovasian Crispy Chicken with Almonds Entrée” packages that fall within the recll. If you find any of them, you may want to return them for a refund. Even if you aren’t allergic to shellfish yourself, it may be a good idea to get rid of the product if there is any chance that anyone who is allergic may consume the product. You don’t want to play a game of chicken when shrimp is actually involved.