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Mike Bryant
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Food Poisoning: Lean Cuisine Chicken Entrees

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In mid November, U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service announced that Nestlé Prepared Foods Company in Springville, Utah is recalling approximately 879,565 pounds of Lean Cuisine frozen chicken meals that may contain foreign materials. The objects were identified as small pieces of hard plastic, which were discovered after the company received consumer complaints and a report of one injury.

Subject to recall are:

– 9.5-ounce packages of "Lean Cuisine Pesto Chicken with Bow Tie Pasta" Printed on each side of each package is a production code of "8280595912" and a use-by date of "Best Before MAY 2010."

– 10.5-ounce packages of "Lean Cuisine Chicken Mediterranean." Printed on the side of each package is a production code of "8231595912" or "8241595912" and a use-by date of "Best before SEP 2010"; a production code of "8263595912," "8269595911" or "8274595912," and a use-by date of "Best before OCT 2010"; or, a production code of "8291595912" or "8301595912" and a use-by date of "Best before NOV 2010."

– 12.5-ounce packages of "Lean Cuisine Chicken Tuscan." Printed on the side of each package is a production code of "8234595911" and a use-by date of "Best before SEP 2009"; a production code of "8253595911" or "8269595912" and a use-by date of "Best before OCT 2009"; or, a production code of "8292595911" or "8296595911" and a use-by date of "Best before NOV 2009."

For more information, consumers and industry can call Lean Cuisine at (800) 993-8625.

As an alternative Lona Sandon, a registered dietitian in Dallas and a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association suggests the following:

Here are four options for healthful, delicious meals on the fly:

1. Grab leftovers. When putting food away after dinner, portion out leftovers into lunch-size containers. They’re ready to grab in the morning without messing up the kitchen.

2. Don’t forget the good old American sandwich. Slap lean turkey breast or ham on whole-grain bread, throw on some lettuce and tomato, and you’ve got a meal with fewer calories and fat than most Lean Cuisines.

3. Sup on soup. It’s warm and comforting, and the fact that it includes a lot of water means you’ll feel fuller on fewer calories. (For recent news on how "Volumetrics" makes it possible to eat a lot and still keep healthy, check out this story by U.S. News‘s Katherine Hobson.) You can make your own soup and freeze portions, or check out the single-serving containers in the soup aisle.

4. Think veg. The recalled meals all contained chicken. Vegetarian choices are becoming more bountiful in the frozen-food aisle and often have a better nutritional profile than those with meat. One example: Lean Cuisine’s butternut squash ravioli in a creamy sauce with walnuts, snap peas, and carrots. At 350 calories, it contains 9 grams of fat and 6 grams of fiber, and provides 90 percent of the daily value of vitamin A, thanks to the squash. An Amy’s Kitchen vegan bean and rice burrito has 280 calories, with 6 grams of fat and 5 grams of fiber.

If you suffer from food poisoning, you need to get immediate medical care. If it continues or there are long term affects, you should contact an attorney concerning the problem. Early investigation can include the collection of samples, checking for health alerts, and the proper notifying of those who caused the problem.