Time to take a Mulligan

By Mike Pomranz
Updated June 22, 2017
© Con Poulos

Next time you grab some frozen hash browns, you may want to yell out a hearty “Fore!” It’ll serve as a reminder that a couple brands of the fried breakfast staple have recently been recalled for possibly containing golf ball pieces.

Frozen potato giant McCain Foods USA announced the voluntary recall on Friday. It includes two types of frozen hash browns sold under two different brand names across nine states and the District of Columbia: Roundy’s 2 lb. Bag of Frozen Southern Style Hash Browns and Harris Teeter 2 lb. Bag of Frozen Southern Style Hash Brown. The Roundy’s bags were sold at Marianos, Metro Market and Pick ‘n Save supermarkets in Illinois and Wisconsin. The Harris Teeter bags were sold at undisclosed locations in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Georgia and Maryland. All the products were distributed after January 19, 2017, so if you have a bag of hash browns still sitting in your freezer from last year (as always seems to be the case when I buy frozen potatoes), you have no reason to panic.

We’ve seen food recalls for some pretty bizarre things this month—a dead bat in a bag of salad and a live scorpion in a bag of spinach—but those are live critters with the ability to crawl (or in the case of the bat, fly) wherever they want. How on Earth do golf balls end up in potatoes? Does the guy with the worst slice in all of Idaho play on a course next to a potato farm? Did a farmer decide to try to make a few extra bucks by turning his fields into a driving range on the weekend? All McCain states in the recall is that the products “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.”

More details about the recalled products can be found on the FDA’s website. Though no injuries have been reported due to these potatoes, the recall suggests, “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.” And in the future, maybe consider cooking your hash browns fresh. I find you’re far less likely to get a golf ball in your potatoes when you chop them yourself.

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