Food & Drink

What the label doesn’t say gets 984 pounds of pork pulled from the shelves

Miami food distributor Embutidos Fanguito has recalled 984 pounds of pork products shipped to retail stores around the state for, among other reasons, being labeled incorrectly as cooked products.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s pork page, eating uncooked or undercooked pork can lead to problems from trichinosis, E. coli, salmonella, listeria, yersiniosis and staphylococcal food poisoning.

Another problem discovered by the Food Safety Inspection Service: The products might have soy, an allergen, and Monosodium Glutamate or MSG. Neither is included on the product label.

Embutidos Fanguito owner Demetrio Lugo didn’t dispute the company made mistakes of omission on the labels, but insisted the ham and chorizo in question “are fully cooked.”

A routine FSIS label review last week found both problems on 8-ounce, 6-slice packages of Jamon Vicky Lasqueado Smoked Flavor Added Sliced Cooked Ham & Water Product, which Lugo said Embutidos has been selling only since February. That prompted Friday’s recall of the product produced from April 18 through June 13.

“The product is cooked, we buy it in a plant and we repackage it in slices,” Lugo said. “The product has a label that says 'Safe handling instructions: 165 degrees F. When you buy a ham it comes cooked. It is the same in this case. It is a cooked ham.”

Monday’s followup FSIS inspection discovered the same problem in 2-ounce sealed packages of Embutidos El Fanguito Chorizo with a sell by date of Sept. 17, 2017. On Tuesday, 530 pounds of that product were recalled.

Both fall into the Class 1, High Health Risk echelon of recalls, which the USDA defines as “a health hazard situation where there is a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death.”

El Nuevo Herald staff writer Ingrid Ruiz Parra contributed to this report.

David J. Neal: 305-376-3559, @DavidJNeal