Golf ball parts in McCain’s frozen potatoes

When I was a kid my family used to spend a couple of weeks on Canada’s east coast every summer. My aunt, uncle and cousins lived in Halifax, we lived in Toronto and a few times we met for a week of cold water beaches, mussels, Anne of Green Gables, and golf on Prince Edward Island.

We rented an old farm house set back from the road a couple of hundred yards. I know the rough distance because I spent a lot of time driving golf balls from in front of the porch towards the road.

Over a field. I don’t think it was potatoes. Maybe it is now. Maybe that’s what lots of people in PEI do over potato fields.

Today, McCain foods recalled some frozen potato products because there might be golf ball parts in them.

McCain Foods USA, Inc. announced today it is voluntarily recalling retail, frozen hash brown products that may be contaminated with extraneous golf ball materials, that despite our stringent supply standards may have been inadvertently harvested with potatoes used to make this product.



This is a new one.

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About Ben Chapman

Dr. Ben Chapman is an associate professor and food safety extension specialist at North Carolina State University. As a teenager, a Saturday afternoon viewing of the classic cable movie, Outbreak, sparked his interest in pathogens and public health. With the goal of less foodborne illness, his group designs, implements, and evaluates food safety strategies, messages, and media from farm-to-fork. Through reality-based research, Chapman investigates behaviors and creates interventions aimed at amateur and professional food handlers, managers, and organizational decision-makers; the gate keepers of safe food. Ben co-hosts a biweekly podcast called Food Safety Talk and tries to further engage folks online through Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and, maybe not surprisingly, Pinterest. Follow on Twitter @benjaminchapman.
  • Kurt Lager

    Many food produces use cameras to sort away stuff that shouldn’t be there, but I guess the software isn’t programmed to detect golf balls!

  • country girl

    This winter I found a golf ball in my horses’ hay feeder.
    Only thing I can figure is that the farmer from whom I buy my hay must practise driving balls in his backyard, and one dropped into a windrow and then go caught up in the baler.
    That hay field would be in Innerkip, a town through which Dr. Powell might have driven a time or two.

    At least the hay won’t be recalled. And the horses were smart enough to not eat it.

  • Hunter

    I bet they’d like to take a…mulligan…on that batch…

  • SHamlett

    It is absolutely not uncommon to get golf balls or baseballs in with potatoes. Usually the golf balls don’t make it past the sizer and are weeded out as small potatoes, but I guess if you are shredding them and not chipping them the smalls don’t matter. Baseballs on the other hand make it through easily. Once they hit the slicer though you know it’s not a spud. It makes a hell of a noise, but if the operator isn’t paying attention they can get through and the optical sorter may not catch all of it.