The quantity of meat recalled by Lee’s Garden Grove-based processing plant, LQNN Inc., is now 220 tons – up from the original voluntary recall of 100 tons announced 10 days ago.
Those additional products, distributed to Lee’s Sandwiches locations in multiple states without proper USDA inspection, include ham and cheese croissants, cooked dry shredded pork and shredded pork bi, the USDA said. LQNN distributes food to Lee’s locations in
The USDA originally said its investigation of Lee’s encompassed one year. But a USDA spokeswoman said Friday the agency’s “best estimate” was that the suspect products dated back to May 29, 2011. “But we are still investigating,” she said.
Lee’s chief operations officer, Tom Quach, said LQNN has been working with the USDA to ensure that all recalled products are taken off the shelves and disposed of properly. He expects that process to be complete by next week.
“Although the recall of LQNN products go back several years, there has not been a single adverse reaction or incident, to our knowledge, that involved the products in question,” he told the Register Friday in a prepared statement.
LQNN has been in operation since 2010, Quach said.
The USDA said the plant could be modifying products by either cooking the USDA certified meats, or blending them with another product. Any such “further processing” is subject to an additional USDA inspection, the agency said.
The other items previously recalled include 61,000 pounds of pork pate chaud, 56,000 pounds of chicken pate chaud, 55,000 pounds of banh bao pork and egg steamed bun, and 23,000 pounds of sliced oil browned turkey.
The Le family started their business in the 1980s, and added an extra ‘e’ to the name of the company because they thought it would be more familiar to their American customers. It originally started as a food service company. Years later, the family launched a chain of sandwich shops known for their inexpensive Vietnamese-style sandwiches.
A signature Lee’s baguette sandwich could contain ingredients such as cold slices of head cheese, jambon (salted ham), pate, julienne carrots, onions, mayonnaise and cilantro.
More than 50 Lee’s restaurants operate in six states. Roughly 15 are in
Earlier this week, Lee’s chief executive, Chieu Le, thanked customers for their “understanding and loyalty during this difficult period.”
“Nothing is more important to us than maintaining your trust,” he said. “We hope you will give us the opportunity to continue to serve you.”