Broken conveyor belt leads to recall of 171K Lean Cuisine baked chicken meals

James David Dickson
The Detroit News

Lean Cuisine frozen meals has recalled some 92,000-plus pounds of its baked chicken meals from store shelves because of possible contamination with hard white plastic, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced this week.

The owner of Lean Cuisine, Nestle Prepared Foods, says the products being recalled were packaged  Sept. 2. The products have a lot code of 0246595911, and establishment number EST. P-9018. They were shipped nationwide, and some have been purchased by now.

Lean Cuisine baked chicken meals may have pieces of hard plastic inside.

This is a Class I recall, which means "there is a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death," the USDA says.

The products that have been shipped but not bought are being recalled to the company, but the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection service is asking people who've bought the affected products to return them.

The USDA says the problem was found Friday when Lean Cuisine received five complaints about the hard white plastic. The 92,000 pounds of food comes out to more than 171,000 frozen meals that have reached grocery store and personal freezers. 

Shipments of the meals went out to stores around the country.

"The firm believes the mashed potatoes used in the production of the baked chicken meals products had pieces of a plastic conveyor belt that broke during production."

Per the USDA: "Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase."