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Hot Pockets recall involves diseased meat, delicious irony

Posted by Doug Saffir  February 19, 2014 10:01 AM

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There are several gross things about yesterday's announcement that Nestle would be recalling some of its Hot Pockets products as part of a larger meat recall.

First, the phrase "meat recall." Much in the way that the word "moist" initiates a primal urge to shudder, the phrase "meat recall" triggers automatic disgust.

Also gross is that the recall is for 8.7 million pounds of beef products that regulators say came from unhealthy and diseased animals. Diseased isn't exactly an appetizing adjective.

And let's not forget that Nestle is voluntarily recalling these products. That's gross because that implies that they had a choice. Nestle having a choice in the matter is only acceptable if by "voluntarily" they actually mean "we're voluntarily choosing to obey the laws that protect you from eating diseased meat."

To be clear, there's only one delicious thing about this whole story, and it's the irony. You see, in July of last year, Nestle had big plans to re-brand Hot Pockets to appeal to the growing "foodies" market. Executives at Nestle told Time magazine that they planned to do this with new "Premium Hot Pockets" that would feature high quality meats and unusually fancy crusts including croissant and pretzel bread.

And then there was this juicy nugget of a quote, delivered to Time by Hot Pockets marketing director Daniel Jhung when talking about how to overcome Hot Pockets' reputation as a nutritionally void stoner food: "There are a lot of perceptions that Hot Pockets are made in some black box with mystery meat."

Perceptions, meet reality.

Despite their plan and the two years' worth of research that reportedly went into it, Hot Pockets is right back where it started, if not worse off. And while the thought of eating a Hot Pocket might make you want to vomit, that irony is finger-licking good.

(H/T @lilsarg)

Reach me at Follow me @dougsaffir

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