Annie's to reboot pizza shipments next week

by Eric Schroeder
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BERKELEY, CALIF. — A few weeks after initiating a voluntary recall of its rising crust frozen pizzas, Annie's, Inc. said it will resume shipping the products to stores nationwide on Feb. 11.

“Our great-tasting rising crust pizzas will soon be back in local freezer aisles,” said John Foraker, chief executive officer of Annie’s. “While our recent voluntary recall of pizza products was unfortunate, we’ve sourced our flour from a different third-party supplier and stepped up our already stringent detection programs, consistent with our commitment to providing families the highest quality products, with the safety of our consumers being the company’s utmost priority. ”

Annie’s announced the voluntary recall of its rising crust frozen pizzas on Jan. 22 after learning a fine metal mesh screen failed at a third-party flour mill and fragments of flexible metal mesh were found in the flour and pizza dough. Annie’s initiated its voluntary recall as a precaution because the pieces of the fine wire were too small to be detected by the comprehensive metal control programs in place.

During a Jan. 22 conference call with analysts to discuss the recall, Mr. Foraker said Annie’s would reevaluate its ingredient suppliers and contract manufacturers with an eye toward identifying opportunities to toughen plant qualification processes and to improve and refine Q.A. procedures and controls. One of the improvements the company made was to use an x-ray on the pizza topping line to supplement existing metal detection capabilities, Mr. Foraker said.

“We are committed to Annie’s Rising Crust Frozen Pizza and will focus on building distribution for this line within our current retailers as we continue to expand in the frozen category,” Mr. Foraker said. “The consumer reaction to this product has been very enthusiastic, and we expect that our pizzas will remain strong performers in this space. We look forward to providing families with more delicious frozen meal options for those nights when it seems impossible to get dinner on the table.”
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