Heinz Recalls Mislabeled Gravy Jars

Some families had to look elsewhere for gravy during the holidays this year after Heinz, the major US food company, recalled approximately 500 cases of gravy.

The small product recall was issued after the company learned that certain 12-ounce glass jars of Heinz HomeStyle Bistro Au Jus Gravy may have been accidentally mislabeled as Heinz Pork Gravy. According to Heinz company officials, the labels did not indicate that the gravy contains milk and soy, which could have posed risks to consumers with food allergies.

The affected gravy was distributed in the United States. It is unclear if the products were sold in New Jersey. At this time, there have not been any reports of consumers suffering illnesses or otherwise getting sick after eating the gravy.

Voluntary Product Recalls and Mandatory Product Recalls

The recall was issued voluntarily, meaning that the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) did not order the recall. Instead, the CPSC and the FDA merely provided assistance to Heinz during the recall process. For instance, the FDA posted a message on Twitter indicating that the affected gravy products might contain “undeclared milk and soy.” Meanwhile, Heinz issued a statement expressing regret for the mislabeling issue and apologizing to consumers.

Keep in mind that companies like Heinz do not typically issue voluntary recalls solely out of a concern for consumer safety. Of course, nobody wants customers to get sick or injured as a result of eating or using a particular product. However, recalls can be extremely costly – and companies usually make decisions based on their economic bottom lines. Most voluntary recalls are issued so that a federal consumer safety agency like the CPSC will not have to order a mandatory recall, which can be far more expansive, and more expensive, than a voluntary recall.

Additionally, businesses like Heinz also issue voluntary recalls in order to limit their liability in the event of consumer illnesses or injuries. When consumers are injured while using a company’s product or while consuming a company’s food item, the product manufacturer could be exposed to liability in the form of personal injury lawsuits.

For more information, access the NPR.org article, “Heinz Recalls Hundreds of Cases of Gravy Just Ahead of Thanksgiving.”

If you sustained an injury or suffered an illness as a result of a defective product or food item, you may need to talk to a qualified product liability attorney. Richard Stoloff is an experienced personal injury and product liability lawyer who can help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact Mr. Stoloff today to schedule a free initial consultation.