A snake in my beans

Tnuva under fire after animal parts again found in frozen green beans

Food giant’s frozen vegetable line suffices with pulling relevant products rather than more drastic recall after snake bits found in bag 2 weeks after mouse bits found in another

Michael Horovitz is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel

A Tnuva plant near Jerusalem on May 1, 2015. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)
A Tnuva plant near Jerusalem on May 1, 2015. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

The Tnuva food manufacturer agreed on Friday to pull some of its frozen products from Israeli grocery stores three days after a customer found bits of snake in a bag of green beans.

The incident took place two weeks after bits of dead mouse were found in another bag of frozen green beans.

According to Hebrew media, Tnuva refused to issue a recall after the latest incident, which would require a public announcement and a request from customers to return relevant products to stores if they were purchased recently. Channel 12 reported that the Health Ministry even threatened to hold a hearing on the matter.

Tnuva’s frozen vegetable line, Sunfrost, told the Calcalist daily in a statement that the Health Ministry had not requested the more drastic step of a recall and instead agreed to suffice with the pulling of products with the same batch number from grocery stores, without a public announcement.

“Following the discovery of a small piece of snake in a single package of chopped green beans, Sunfrost contacted the Health Ministry to update it on the incident. After a discussion with the Health Ministry and in accordance with the latter’s directive, Sunfrost will pull the relevant batches of the product from [shelves] on Sunday,” the frozen vegetable line said.

Sunfrost also claimed it had presented the Health Ministry with testimony from a health expert who insisted that “there is no [broader] danger to public health”

“Customers who purchased the product will be able to contact the company’s hotline at 1-800-282-844 from Sunday and receive a credit voucher. We apologize for the one-off mishap and will continue to work to ensure the quality and integrity of the company’s products,” Sunfrost added.

Despite only two weeks separating the two incidents, Sunfrost denied any connection between them.

After the mouse incident as well, the firm managed to avoid issuing a recall and sufficed with pulling relevant products from grocery stores that sell them.

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