On Saturday 11/23/19 we were informed by our primary food distributor, US Foods, that Unilever US had issued a voluntary recall of multiple chicken bases that they manufacture. Unfortunately, one of the recalled chicken bases is an ingredient in our Cornbread Dressing.
In part, the Unilever press release states:
“To date, no illnesses have been reported related to this recall. Unilever is recalling the products out of an abundance of caution”.
This link will take you to the full recall press release issued by Unilever
Even though there have been no reported problems with regards to this recall and even though we have experienced no problems at the restaurant with regards to the safety and quality of our dressing, we have decided that we will not sell any more Frozen Dressing out of an abundance of caution. Based on the voluntary recall that Unilever issued, we feel this decision is the best course of action to guarantee the health and safety of our guests.
Upon hearing about the recall, we immediately discarded any dressing that we had in house and switched to a substitute chicken base that is made by another company. The substitute chicken base was delivered to us late Saturday and any dressing we make moving forward will use the substituted ingredient. Therefore, you can be assured that any dressing that we sold Sunday 11/24/19 and any we produce moving forward will not use the Unilever base that is being recalled. If you have frozen dressing with a “use by date” of 3/14/20 to 5/18/20 you should discard it out of an abundance of caution.
The fact that we have been producing and packaging our frozen dressing for over a month to meet the 12,000 QTS needed for Thanksgiving means that there is no way we can regroup and have this product available for next week. In addition, we will not be able to sell our dressing hot in pints or quarts next week because the demand will be more than we can handle if we do. The dressing we sell at the restaurant Thanksgiving week will only be for our regular menu plates and for our pre-booked bulk cater meals.
We stress that this situation was not caused by a Wade’s Restaurant quality or safety issue. It was caused by a recall of an ingredient produced by Unilever and we are simply a victim of the recall. We reacted immediately upon receiving the information and will continue to be extremely vigilant concerning this challenge until it is completely resolved. We apologize for not having our frozen food dressing for your Thanksgiving holiday meal and sincerely appreciate your support as we work through the coming days.