Cheese warning as Kraft slices in the US recalled over choking hazard fears

Kraft Heinz has pulled from the shelves a sizable batch of its individually wrapped American cheese slices due to a potential plastic choking hazard.

The recall comes after a machine on the production line malfunctioned in such a way that the plastic film around the slices may not fully come off as easily as intended.

According to Kraft Heinz, the issue was discovered after a number of customers reported finding a strip of plastic film stuck to their cheese slices after the rest was removed.

These complaints are understood to have included six consumers who claimed to have choked or gagged after accidentally consuming the excess film along with the cheese.

Fortunately, no injuries or serious health issues have been reported in connection with these incidents.

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In their recall announcement, the firm said: “Kraft Heinz is announcing a voluntary recall of approximately 83,800 cases of individually wrapped Kraft Singles American processed cheese slices that were shipped to a limited number of customers.

“The voluntary recall comes as a precaution after a temporary issue developed on one of our wrapping machines.”

This issue, they explained, made it “possible that a thin strip of the individual film may remain on the slice after the wrapper has been removed”.

The company added: “If the film sticks to the slice and is not removed, it could be unpleasant and potentially cause a gagging or choking hazard.”

Kraft Heinz added that the faulty machine has now been fixed, and all other associated processing machines have been “thoroughly inspected” for issues.

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The products included in the recall include 16 ounce Kraft Singles American Pasteurized Prepared Cheese Product with an individual package universal product code (UPC) of “0 2100061526 1” and a “Best When Used By” date from January 10 through January 27, 2024.

Individual packages in this recall, Kraft Heinz said, will contain an “S” and “72” in the manufacturing code printed on the packaging.

Also included in the recall are three pound multipacks of the same which have a carton UPC of “0 2100060491 3” and a use-by date next year of either January 16 or from January 9–13.

Shoppers who have purchased affected cheese slices are advised not to consume them, but instead to return them to the point of sale for an exchange or refund.

Kraft Heinz also said that consumers with concerns can contact their customer service line “from 9am to 6pm Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday, at 1-800-280-8252 to see if a product is part of the recall and to receive reimbursement.”

The food company concluded: “Kraft Heinz is committed to upholding the highest safety and quality standards and apologizes for this inconvenience.”

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