June 18, 2010 -- Campbell Soup Co. is recalling 15 million pounds of SpaghettiOs with Meatballs made since 2008.
No illnesses have been reported from the products, distributed throughout the U.S.
During a June 15 inspection of its Paris, Texas plant, company inspectors found that a cooker was not heating the product to sterilizing temperatures, Campbell spokesman Anthony Sanzio tells WebMD.
Sanzio says the SpaghettiOs, including the meatballs, were fully cooked. The malfunctioning cooker was used at the final stage of processing -- the kill step -- when the product is supposed to be heated to ensure that any potential bacterial contaminants are destroyed.
"The can itself, the entire product, did not get the amount of heat required to make it commercially sterile," Sanzio tells WebMD. "It is not that the meatballs are undercooked."
Although Campbell believes the cooker only recently broke down, the company is recalling cans processed since December 2008 "out of an abundance of caution."
The USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service has not received any reports of illness. Sanzio says Campbell has received no complaints from customers or grocers.
The recalled products are:
- 14.75-ounce cans of "SpaghettiOs" with Meatballs, bearing the identifying product code "U5" on the bottom of the can.
- 14.75-ounce cans of "SpaghettiOs" A to Z with Meatballs, bearing the identifying product code "4N" on the bottom of the can.
- 14.75-ounce cans of "SpaghettiOs" Fun Shapes with Meatballs (Cars), bearing the identifying product code "KS" on the bottom of the can.
The bottom of the cans of all recalled products carry the ink-jetted number "EST 4K" as well as a use-by date between June 2010 and December 2011.
Consumers may return recalled products to the place of purchase. Those with questions may call Campbell's Hotline at 866-495-3774.