Kroger Recalls Ham For Lack of Pink Color

March 26, 2016

Sometimes food recalls boggle the mind. Kroger has voluntarily recalled whole and half semi-boneless hams manufactured under the Cumberland Gap brand. Customers can return their hams to the store where they were purchased for a full refund. 

There is no food safety concern, but some of the hams do not have the pink color that we associate with ham. To be clear, the ham is safe to eat and tastes like ham, but is not pink enough to look appetizing to customers, so they are being returned for a full refund. 

The night before Easter Sunday. 

What is that pink you ask? The pink color is the results of injecting the pork with a solution that contains nitrates or nitrites. This ingredient is used for flavor enhancement, provides the appealing pink-cured color, and helps prevent rancidity. A natural impurity found in salt, nitrites are essential to curing meat. In modern times, it is the most popular way to cure meats and if the solution is applied incorrectly (or not enough) there can be a mottling of the flesh, so pink and white(the natural color of the meat) instead of the uniform pink color. 

There are a couple of different types of cured hams. Country hams are more popular in the southern states. Brine cured hams are injected with the flavored brine and then additionally submerged into more brine to be certain that the cure domes in contact with the entire piece of meat.  


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