A package of Pepperoni Hot Pockets, which have been recalled
Photo: USDA

Nestlé has issued a nationwide recall of certain lots of its frozen pepperoni Hot Pockets with Garlic Buttery Crust after four consumers reported finding glass or plastic in the product. The company said the contaminants pose a risk of choking or cuts if consumed.

One person who had eaten the sandwiches had a minor mouth injury, the Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service said Friday.

Only 54-ounce packages containing 12 Hot Pockets are being recalled, totaling about 762,615 pounds. Other package sizes of pepperoni Hot Pockets With Garlic Buttery crust aren’t part of the recall, nor are the company’s pepperoni Hot Pockets With Crispy Crust.

The recalled sandwiches were produced between Nov. 13, 2020, and Nov. 16, 2020, and are stamped with the following lot codes: 0318544624, 0319544614, 0320544614, and 0321544614. All are marked with a “Best Before” date of February 2022.

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The USDA website doesn’t list the retailers where the Hot Pockets were shipped, but the recall notice says they were distributed to stores across the U.S. and in Puerto Rico. Some large grocers, such as Walmart, Target, Food Lion, and Kroger, have posted recall notices for this product on their websites.

This recall comes on the heels of another one for a Nestlé product for a similar reason. In December, Nestlé recalled its Lean Cuisine Baked Chicken frozen dinner after consumers reported finding hard white plastic pieces in the product. 

Nestlé spokesperson Dana Stambaugh said in an email exchange that the two recalls are not related and that the company believes only a single batch (lot code) of Hot Pockets may contain the glass or plastic pieces, “but [we] chose to recall four batches out of an abundance of caution. We are continuing to investigate this matter thoroughly, and our top priority is the safety of our consumers.”

Finding plastic or glass materials in food, especially processed food, isn’t out of the ordinary, CR’s food safety experts have said. Mechanical breakdowns in food processing equipment can sometimes cause pieces of manufacturing materials such as plastic, rubber, or glass to wind up in the product. 

If you have any of the recalled Hot Pockets in your freezer, throw them away or return them to the store where you bought them, the USDA and Nestlé say.

The Details

Products recalled: Nestlé Hot Pockets Sandwiches Premium Pepperoni Pizza, made with pork, chicken, and beef and with Garlic Buttery Crust, with lot codes 0318544624, 0319544614, 0320544614, and 0321544614. The products have a “Best Before” date of February 2022.

The problem: The product may contain pieces of glass or plastic.

The fix: If you have these recalled Hot Pockets in your freezer, throw them away or return them to the store where you bought them for a refund.

How to contact the manufacturer: Call Nestlé consumer services at 800-350-5016, email nestleproductinquiry@casupport.com, or use the company's online form.