Nestlé USA, doing business as Cleveland, Ohio-based Food Ingredient Specialties, is voluntarily recalling approximately 144,000 pounds of chicken base refrigerated products because they contain undeclared whey protein (milk), the US Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service announced today.

Whey protein is a known allergen. Persons who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to whey protein run the risk of possible allergic reactions if they consume this product.

The products subject to recall are ½-, one- and five-pound tubs of "MINOR'S Chicken Base NO ADDED MSG," a paste type product added to soups, sauces and gravies. Each tub lid bears a date code beginning with one of the following numbers: 1323, 1337, 1351, 2014 or 2028. Each tub also bears establishment code "P-316" inside the USDA seal of inspection.

The products were produced between 14 November 2001 and 8 February 2002 and distributed in various weight cases to food service and retail club stores nationwide.

"We urge consumers to check their refrigerators for this product," said Margaret Glavin, acting FSIS administrator. "If they find the product listed above, consumers should return it to the point of purchase."

Food Ingredient Specialties received a consumer call about the product's contents, conducted a quality check of the product, identified the problem, and notified USDA.

Media with questions about the recall may contact Teri Holomon, Corporate Brand Affairs, Nestle's USA, at (818) 549-6333. Consumers with questions about the recall may contact Minor's Customer Service at 1-800-243-8822.

Consumers with food safety questions can phone the toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at l-800-535-4555. The hotline can be reached from l0 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday, and recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a day.