Nestle Prepared Foods Company, based in Springville, Utah, is recalling about 879,565 pounds of Lean Cuisine brand frozen chicken meals that may contain pieces of blue plastic, according to an U.S. Department of Agriculture alert. The products subject to this recall include:

• 9.5-ounce packages of Lean Cuisine Pesto Chicken with Bow Tie Pasta
• 10.5-ounce packages of Lean Cuisine Chicken Mediterranean
• 12.5-ounce packages of Lean Cuisine Chicken Tuscan

Each package also bears the USDA mark of inspection as well as the establishment number “ESTP-9018.” The frozen chicken meals were manufactured between Aug. 18 and Oct. 27 and were distributed to retail stores nationwide. The problem surfaced after the company received several consumer complaints and a report of one injury as a result of the hard plastic pieces in the frozen chicken dinners. Consumers with questions about this recall are asked to call Nestle Consumer Services Center at 1-800-227-6188. You may also contact the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline toll-free at 1-888-674-6854. Information is available in English and Spanish.

The USDA has considered the blue plastic pieces to be a potential health threat and has ranked the recall as Class I – a “health hazard situation where there is reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death.” According to this ABC news report, the plastic pieces in the frozen dinners could cause serious injuries such as cuts to the mouth or scratches to a person’s throat. Consumers are asked to return the recalled Lean Cuisine dinners to the supermarket where they purchased it for a full refund. Nestle and USDA are trying to track precisely which regions, states and cities received these contaminated shipments. Nestle has apparently traced the blue plastic to a single lot of raw ingredients shipped to a Lean Cuisine facility.

There is no question that these contaminated food products can cause serious injuries or even death to those who consume them. If you have been seriously injured as a result of consuming one of these frozen dinners, you would be well-advised to consult a knowledgeable personal injury attorney who is experienced with product defect cases.

Food contamination occurs because food producers and manufacturers lack proper quality control processes. Contamination could also occur at our favorite restaurants or at our child’s school cafeteria. It’s time we hold our food producers and eating establishments responsible for what they serve us. Our hard-earned money goes into buying food. The least they can do is supply us with products that are not contaminated or threaten our health and safety.