So far, no injuries have been reported.

By Faith Brar
December 11, 2018
Photo: Jimmy Dean

Romaine lettuce may be mostly safe to eat again (too soon?), but you may want to give your freezer a sweep in light of this latest recall.

Yesterday, The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Services (FSIS) reported that at least five people have found small, string-like fragments of metal (yes, metal) in Jimmy Dean HEAT 'n SERVE Original SAUSAGE LINKS Made with Pork & Turkey.

So far, the type of metal in the products hasn't been identified and no injuries have been reported. But to get ahead of the issue, CTI Foods LLC (the parent company of Jimmy Dean) has recalled more than 14 tons-29,028 pounds!-of the frozen turkey and pork sausage products.

Given its seriousness, FSIS has labeled this event a Class I recall, classifying it as a "health hazard situation where there is a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death." (Related: You've Eaten Something from a Food Recall-Now What?)

While food recalls that threaten diseases such as E. coli and salmonella get the most attention, recalls due to contamination with foreign objects-and metals, in particular-aren't exactly rare.

In 2015, Kraft Foods recalled 6 million of its Macaroni & Cheese product because of "metal shards" being found in some boxes. The same year, Unibright Foods recalled about 50,000 pounds of prepared meat products after packages contained "extraneous metal materials," according to FSIS. In 2012, Bay Valley Foods recalled 74,000 cases of boxed pasta mix for the same reason. And later that year, Kellogg recalled 2.8 million boxes of Bite-Size Frosted and Unfrosted Mini-Wheats, because of the "possible presence of fragments of flexible metal mesh." (Related: Is the Food In Meal Kit Delivery Services Actually Safe to Eat?)

It's unclear how these tiny pieces of metal end up in manufactured food, but it shouldn't come as a surprise given the highly industrialized food system. The good news is, very few deaths or serious injuries (if any) have ever been associated with these types of recalls-though they should still be taken seriously.

To all those Jimmy Dean lovers out there, the FCIS recommends checking your freezer for any of the ready-to-eat 23.4-oz links that were produced and packaged on August 4, 2018. They will also have a use-by date of January 31, 2019, a case code of A6382168, and the establishment number: "EST. 19085." Throw these items out immediately and head over to Jimmy Dean's website for instructions on how to contact the company for a refund.