Kraft's beloved, blue-boxed pantry staple has a lot of synthetic ingredients, sure. But shards of steel shouldn't be among them.
The food processing giant is recalling 242,000 of its Macaroni & Cheese dinners that may contain small pieces of metal. The recall affects 7.25-oz. sizes of the Original flavor dinners with "Best When Used By" dates between Sept. 18, 2015 and Oct. 15, 2015.
The products were shipped to grocery stores nationwide, as well as to Puerto Rico and some Caribbean countries. Canada is not affected.
The Northfield, Ill.-based company said it has received eight consumer complaints regarding the issue. No related injuries or illnesses have been reported.
"We deeply regret this situation and apologize to any consumers we have disappointed," a Kraft company statement reads.
Kraft faced this issue with a similar product four years ago. In 2011, the company recalled 137,000 cases of Velveeta Shells & Cheese single-serve cups that may have contained small metal bristles. The company believes the current problem arose after "a piece of stainless steel got wedged in a metal piece of equipment, which may have generated friction that resulted in small pieces of metal potentially falling into the product,” Joyce Hodel, a Kraft spokeswoman, said in a statement.
The recalled boxes were sold individually and in multipacks of three, four, and five and contain the code "C2" directly beneath individual boxes. Consumers with affected boxes should throw them out or return them to the store for exchanges or full refunds. They can also contact Kraft Foods Consumer Relations at 800-816-9432 between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. EST for a full refund.
One of Kraft's most widely recognized products, Macaroni & Cheese dinners and their orange powder packs came to prominence in the lead-up to World War II as a low-cost, easy meal for newly working mothers who were rationing meat and dairy products. In 2013, facing public pressure for healthier, more natural products, Kraft changed the recipe for certain varieties of Mac & Cheese dinners slightly, eliminating a controversial yellow dye and reducing the product's sodium and saturated fat content. The yellow dyes are still found in Kraft's original recipe dinners sold in the US. (Correction: An earlier version of this story did not specify that the yellow dye was removed from some, but not all, Kraft Macaroni & Cheese varieties).
For a full list of recalled products, visit Kraft's recall announcement here.