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This Popular Frozen Food Brand Is Facing Several Safety Issues Right Now

Problems are happening in the grocery store and at manufacturing plants.

The frozen food section is a popular one in grocery stores, but one popular brand that is added to many shopping carts is facing troubles on all sides of the aisles. Workers have alleged unsafe conditions at one of the company's factories and one of its products is being recalled.

Reports say a complaint against Amy's Kitchen was filed with the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health in January after workers at the Santa Rosa, Calif. plant faced an "unforgiving environment" that pushed them past the point of injury, according to NBC NewsIt says that to keep up with line speeds, company leaders downplayed injuries, documents about the injuries were shared, and that workers were not given the opportunity to take breaks, not given clean drinking water while working, workers were not allowed to change tasks to avoid injuries related to repetitive motions, and were shamed or asked to provide doctors notes if they needed to use the restroom.

Related: 6 Things You'll See at Costco This Year

The Chief People Officer at Amy's Kitchen, Mike Resch, told the news outlet that there is much to dispute about the complaint.

"We're very reasonable in the approach to try to discern between someone who has that need, which we want to support, on an irregular basis, in which case it wouldn't require that, versus an employee who has a need to visit the restroom more regularly outside of breaks," he said.

No official ruling on the complaint has been made. In a statement to Eat This, Not That!, Resch says:

"Amy's is a family-owned company that knows our success is entirely attributable to the contributions of our more than 2,800 employees.
We never want to see any employees injured at work and have invested significantly in new equipment, practices, and cultural changes to reduce the risk of injury at work. We conduct daily safety walks to look for any deviations from our established practices and to identify future improvements. As just one indicator of how Amy's has prioritized our workers' safety at our Santa Rosa plant, last year the plant recorded a safety record that is two times better than our industry average, with a recordable rate of 2.3 versus the industry standard of 5.
We have had an opportunity to review the allegations within the Cal/OSHA complaint signed by the union that was provided to us, which contains misstatements about the conditions and processes at Amy's. After learning of the complaint, we reached out to Cal/OSHA. We have a good working relationship with Cal/OSHA and value their insights.
We continually look to learn from our employees and implement additional improvements that supports their safety as well as upholds one of our founding principles, 'taking care of each other.'"

But another legal matter Amy's is dealing with is a recall of its frozen Vegan Organic Rice Mac & Cheeze. Over 15,620 cases of the product sold nationwide may contain undeclared traces of milk not declared on the label, a recall notice published by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says. If someone with an allergy or sensitivity to milk consumes the product, they could suffer a serious or life-threatening allergic reaction.

Amy's recall
Courtesy of the FDA

The issue was discovered by a third party after doing a test, and no other frozen Amy's Kitchen products are involved. However, the Mac & Cheeze could still be in consumers' freezers, as it has a "Best Before Date" of 10/2023. If you have one, the notice says to discard it or return it to the place of purchase for a full refund.

For more info on this section of the grocery store, here are The Best Frozen Items to Buy At Costco Right Now, Dietitian Says.

Amanda McDonald
Amanda has a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University and a bachelor's degree in digital journalism from Loyola University Chicago. Read more about Amanda