The United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety and
Inspection Service is recalling approximately 28,782 pounds of
chicken sausage products produced by Gilroy-based Silva Sausage
The United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service is recalling approximately 28,782 pounds of chicken sausage products produced by Gilroy-based Silva Sausage Co.
Products specifically subject to recall, according to a press release posted Friday by the USDA, include various package sizes of the Silva Sausage Smoked Chicken Apple Sausage. The USDA says the recall was issued “because of misbranding and an undeclared allergen.”
Silva’s recalled products do, in fact, contain cultured whey – an undeclared allergen ingredient in the spice that is not listed on the label, according to the USDA.
The recall is characterized as a Class I, defined by the USDA as involving “a health hazard situation in which there is a reasonable probability that eating the food will cause health problems or death.”
Located 5935 Rossi Lane, Silva Sausage operates out of a 52,000 square-foot building and employs around 45 to 50 workers, says Vice President Rick Martins, co-owner of Silva alongside his brother, President Fernando Martins. The two uprooted their meat company from its San Jose location three years ago, making a permanent move to the Garlic Capital in 2009.
Silva’s juicy links attract lines of hungry patrons at the weekly Farmers’ Market every Sunday in Gilroy, where the company sells sandwiches out of a portable vending booth. The Gilroy Garlic Festival also incorporates Silva Sausage products into its Gourmet Alley dishes, however the chicken apple assuage links are not used in the festival, according to the Association.
Rick says Silva’s products are sold to restaurants, cafes, hotels and caterers throughout the Bay Area, with about 5 percent of business being “non-institutional,” denoting delis or grocery stores. A handful of these include Costco, Safeway, Nob Hill and Wal-Mart.
A Food Safety Inspection Service inspector recently discovered the mishap during a routine label review, according to the USDA. Authorities say an issue arose as the spice blend used in the product contained cultured whey as an ingredient, which the company “inadvertently left off the product labels.”
Rick says whey – a milk byproduct – was not disclosed in the chicken sausage’s ingredient label due to an error on the part of a spice supplier.
“We ask all of our suppliers to provide us a list of items that are considered allergens, and we didn’t see it on that list,” he said Friday afternoon.
Rick, along with the FSIS inspector, says he has not received any reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of the recalled products.
This is the first time the 40-year-old company has dealt with a recall, says Rick, who referred to the recall warning as a “formality.”
More than anything, he says, the notice is designated to generate awareness “because USDA considers this an allergen, even though you don’t often hear about people having life-threatening reactions to whey.”
He says the next steps are for Silva to notify its broker network, which in turn notifies Silva’s distributors and clients.
The 28,782 pounds of product being recalled is the amount of chicken sausage produced during a time specific time period identified by the USDA, Rick says.
“Most of that product has probably been consumed, and we have yet to receive any adverse reaction,” he underscored. “I do not expect this to hurt business at all.”
For distributors who still have the chicken sausage in stock, Rick says Silva will be switching out the recalled products with properly labeled links.
“The product isn’t changing at all – the label will,” he clarified. “There is no fine, no consequence. Just a lot of paperwork.”
Rick says the recall was voluntary, as everyone at Silva agreed: “It was the right thing to do.”
Consumers with questions about the recall should contact Rick Martins at (408) 293-5437.
– Fourteen-ounce retail packages of Silva Sausage Smoked Chicken Apple Sausage, bearing the identifying case code “10136” and “use or freeze by” dates through Oct. 11, 2011. This product may have been sold fresh to consumers, according to the USDA.
– Ten-pound cases containing two and five pound packages of Silva Sausage Smoked Chicken Apple Sausage, bearing the case codes “10185” and “10509.”
– Ten-pound cases containing two and five-pound packages of Silva Sausage Smoked Chicken Apple Sausage, bearing the identifying case code “10325” and bearing the “use or free by” dates through Oct. 8, 2011.
– According to the USDA, each package bears the establishment number “P-6086” inside the USDA mark of inspection. The 14-oz retail packages were produced between July 5, 2011 and Aug. 25, 2011 and were sold to retail establishments in the San Luis Obispo area. The products contained in the 10-lb cases were produced between March 24, 2011 and Aug. 25, 2011, and were distributed to retail establishments and institutions in the Sacramento and San Luis Obispo, Calif. areas.
Read a past story about Silva Sausage here.