Filipinos are obsessed with Spam. Personally, I prefer Ma-Ling, but I guess the famed US import fits right in with the Pinoy hankering for salty luncheon meat. Heck, there’s even a tocino-flavored variant that’s exclusive to the Philippines! Plus, it’s a no-brainer to cook: open can, slice up contents, pan-fry, and serve with rice. Ta-da! Now, you’ve got an instant breakfast or packed lunch for the kids. If only it wasn’t so darn expensive, right?
Now, for the longest time, people have speculated what Spam is actually made of. Guesses on the mystery meat include everything from pork or chicken to gelatinous scraps held together by some sort of meat glue.
What you wouldn’t and shouldn’t expect to find in these cans of delicious saltiness are shards of metal.
And this is precisely why Hormel Foods, the US-based company that manufactures Spam, has recently recalled 228,000 pounds of their flagship product. Apparently, four consumers complained about finding metal pieces inside the cans. The US Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) also revealed that some people suffered mild mouth injuries after consuming the said product.
The governing body was first notified last Friday, 25 May, hence the company recalling all canned pork and chicken products produced by their Fremont, Nebraska plant. The FSIS did not reveal how the pieces of metal might have gotten into the canned goods.
Consumers have been urged to look out for 12-ounce cans of Spam Classic and Hormel Foods Black-Label Luncheon Loaf with a “Best By” Date of February 21. Should you find any cans of Spam with the production codes F020881, F020882, F020883, F020884, F020885, F020886, F020887, F020888 and F020889 and/or of the Black-Label Luncheon Loaf with the production codes F02098 and F02108, you are advised to either discard or return the products to their place of purchase.
Much of the items in question were shipped throughout the US and Guam, but they could also have been imported to our shores. Given how Spam is a popular balikbayan box stuffer, it would also be wise to inspect the bottoms of any cans received this way, just to be on the safe side.
Right, in the meantime, I’ll just go and replenish my favorite Ma-Ling luncheon meat.