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Vienna Beef Recalls Hot Dogs Sold to Restaurants in Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin

The voluntary recall doesn’t affect grocery stores

Vienna Beef Hot Dogs Get National Distribution Deal
About 2,000 pounds of Vienna Beef hot dogs were recalled.
Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images
Ashok Selvam is the editor of Eater Chicago and a native Chicagoan armed with more than two decades of award-winning journalism. Now covering the world of restaurants and food, his nut graphs are super nutty.

About 20 Vienna Beef food service customers were affected by the Chicago company’s voluntary recall of about 2,000 pounds of skinless, beef hot dogs in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Indiana. The hot dogs were recalled due to a contamination of metal, according to the USDA, which issued a statement on Saturday. No one has reported getting sick from eating a contaminated hot dog, according to the USDA and Vienna. The sausage maker reiterated that the recall doesn’t affect hot dogs purchased at stores or online retailers.

The recall affected about 20 restaurants and other food service customers with about 200 cases of sausages possibly contaminated, said Vienna’s VP of Marketing Tom McGlade. Most restaurants go through about 100 cases in a day, he added. The company believes all the contaminated meat is accounted for, but the USDA issued the release writing that the agency is worried that tainted meat, dated May 2, may still be in a restaurant’s freezer.

“My biggest concern is the consumer worried that something they bought at Jewel in the freezer is somehow not healthy to eat,” Vienna’s McGlade said. “The USDA statement clearly said it was only food service.”

The tainted hot dogs came in 10-pound boxes like these.
Vienna Beef [Official Photo]

Vienna is the legendary Chicago sausage producer founded back in the late 19th Century. Its encased meats are the choices of most hot dog stands in the city, and customers can find them at places such as Wrigley Field. Many popular hot dog spots prefer to serve natural casings. Knowing that, the recall wouldn’t affect them, as the contaminated hot dogs were only skinless.

The problem was detected at the factory back on May 10, McGlade said. They’re not sure what caused the metal manifestation. McGlade suggested it could be anything from a cow grazing a chain-link fence to buckshot. The tainted meat, labeled as “skinless beef frankfurters” were boxed in 10-pound cases. Vienna reported the problem to the USDA. The agency dubbed this a high-risk recall as consuming the tainted product would have serious health effects.

Many Americans will fire up their grills over Memorial Day Weekend, and Vienna worries that hysteria could ruin the holiday. Meanwhile, the USDA advises customers to throw away any meat with the following labels or return the items to the point of purchase. Customers should see a health care professional if they’re worried about sickness. The Tribune first reported the story.

The following are the hot dog packages that could have contaminants, according to the government:

  • 10-pound cases containing “SKINLESS BEEF FRANKFURTERS 6” 8’s 10#” with case code 013180 and package code 9122 represented on the label.
  • 10-pound cases containing “SKINLESS BEEF FRANKFURTERS 6” 11’s 10#” with case code 013312 and package code 9122 or 9123 represented on the label.
  • 10-pound cases containing “SKINLESS BEEF FRANKFURTERS 7” 9’s 10#” with case code 013490 and package code 9122 or 9123 represented on the label.