Sara Lee Frozen Bakery is well known for creating a wide array of dessert products, from banana crème pies to rich caramel truffle mini cheesecakes. The company has been satisfying anyone with a sweet tooth around the country for decades through its six brands: Sara Lee, Chef Pierre, Bistro Collection, Van's, Superior on Main, and Cyrus O'Leary's. But now that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced a voluntary recall by the company, lovers of Sara Lee need to be cautious of one specific beloved product. Read on to find out what popular dessert could put you at risk.
The FDA announced a recall of select Sara Lee, Chef Pierre, and Devonshire pecan pies.
On May 12, the FDA issued a recall notice on select types of Sara Lee, Chef Pierre, and Devonshire pecan pies. The affected pies, which were distributed nationwide, were produced between Mar. 4 and Apr. 1, 2021.
Consumers can identify the affected products by looking at the product code printed on the box. In total, five different pecan pie desserts were recalled—Sara Lee Individually Wrapped 4-ounce Pecan Pie slices (produced on Mar. 5); Sara Lee Individually Wrapped 4-ounce Pecan Pie slices (produced on Mar. 4 and Mar. 11); Chef Pierre 10" Pre-Baked Southern Pecan Pie (produced on Mar. 4); Chef Pierre 10" Pre-Baked 10-Slice Pecan Pie (produced on Apr. 1); and Devonshire Bake Shop 10" Pre-Baked Southern Style Pecan Pie (produced on Apr. 1). Check out the recall notice posted on the FDA's site for the listed lot codes and carrying units to look out for.
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The products in question may contain undeclared peanuts.
The affected pies were recalled because they may contain undeclared peanuts. "This recall has been initiated due to the unintentional cross-contamination of raw pecans in shells with residual peanuts during agricultural transport and storage of pecans by a supplier," the notice cautions. Anyone with an allergy or severe sensitivity to peanuts is urged not to consume the potentially tainted pecan pies.
If someone with a peanut allergy eats the Sara Lee desserts affected by the recall, they could experience a serious or life-threatening allergic reaction. Luckily, there have been no incidents of illness or injury reported as of May 12.
According to the The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA), peanuts are one of the eight major food allergens, along with milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, wheat, and soybeans. Any food products containing these allergens is required to say so on its label. Approximately 30,000 consumers end up in the emergency room and 150 Americans die each year from allergic reactions to food, the FDA says.
Distributors have been urged to take the products off shelves and "destroy" them.
"Sara Lee Frozen Bakery has instructed all impacted distributors to recall and destroy all product in market," the FDA warns.
Meanwhile, anyone who may have bought the pecan pies with lot codes that match the recalled items should ask for a refund from the store where they purchased the items.
You can also email the company at SaraLeeFrozenBakery@casupport.com or call them at 1-800-323-7117 on weekdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET.
The last major recall of a Sara Lee-branded product was for very different reasons.
On Aug. 26, 2015, Bimbo Bakeries USA issued a voluntary recall after certain bread products were found to have pieces of glass inside. According to the notice, some products under the brands Sara Lee, Kroger, Bimbo, Nature's Harvest, Great Value, and L'Oven Fresh were recalled because of a "possible presence of fragments of glass caused by a broken light bulb at one of its bakeries."
The affected products consisted of fresh whole wheat and multigrain bread. The recall was announced after the company received three consumer reports of tiny glass particles found on the outside of the bread. Thankfully, no injuries were reported and the recalled products were taken off store shelves.