Lean Cuisine recalls thousands of frozen meals over contamination fears

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The maker of Lean Cuisine has recalled thousands of frozen chicken dinners over concerns that people eating them could get a mouthful of plastic.

The US Department of Agriculture issued the recall for about 92,200 pounds of Lean Cuisine baked chicken meals after parent company Nestlé Prepared Foods found some of them were contaminated with hard white plastic, officials said.

The Utah-based company believes the pieces of plastic broke off of a conveyor belt and got into the mashed potatoes included with the meals, according to the USDA. The problem was discovered on Friday after Nestle received five complaints about the plastic, the agency said Saturday.

The potentially contaminated meals were produced and packaged on Sept. 2 of this year and bear a “best before” date of October 2021. Each one weighs 8 5/8 ounces, indicating the recall covers more than 171,000 packages.

The USDA called it a “Class I” recall, meaning there is a “reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death.”

But the agency’s Food Safety and Inspection Service hasn’t gotten any reports of illnesses or injuries linked to consumption of the meals so far, officials said.

The USDA urged anyone who bought one of the meals to throw them away or return them to the store where they were purchased.

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