Pity the poor folk whose job it is to market Hot Pockets, those ubiquitous microwaveable turnovers filled with one or more types of cheese, meat, or vegetables.

For years, Hot Pockets were a staple of comedian Jim Gaffigan’s standup routine (see above), in which he effectively ensured that a generation of consumers would associate the food item with indigestion, diarrhea and a variety of other ailments.

There’s likely no amount of money or promotional effort that Nestle, which produces Hot Pockets, could ever come up with to overcome the effectiveness of Gaffigan’s biting ridicule, and now the company is facing another PR nightmare.

Nestle is voluntarily recalling an unspecified number of “Philly Steak” and “Croissant Crust Philly Steak and Cheese” Hot Pockets because they could contain meat that is unfit for human consumption, according to the USDA.

Gaffigan’s gag, of course, is that they were never fit for human consumption in the first place.

Anyhoo, nearly 9 million pounds of beef products were recalled last week by Rancho Feeding Corp. after regulators said it processed diseased and unsound animals without a full inspection, according to the Associated Press.

Nestle said a small quantity of meat from Rancho was used at a California production facility that makes Hot Pockets.

No illnesses have been reported – at least not from the tainted meat.

One imagines the small desperate team tasked with marketing Hot Pockets condemned to a boiler room beneath some decrepit Nestle factory. Their goal, in essence, is to create chicken soup out of chicken feathers by making Hot Pockets sound palatable.

That mission, already one of monumental proportions, has now been made immeasurably more difficult by the whiff of tainted meat. Whatever that group is paid, it likely isn’t enough.

Hot Pockets: Now even worse for you

15 thoughts on “Hot Pockets: Now even worse for you

      • People always go for the easy cook if it is an option though don’t they? My kids are addicted to two minute noodles, I’ve put restrictions on the amount they can eat as its clear they are only making them because they can be bothered putting a few ingredients together and making proper food.
        Imagine if the supermarkets only had ingredients rather than packets of pre made food, we’d all be so much healthier! (Except for the chilli chips I love of course, special dispensation for me there) 😀

      • I never have been much of a cook, so I can commiserate with your kids. Just the fact that they are making something, as opposed to eating a premade meal, impresses me. I’ve never stooped as low as Hot Pockets, though. Reminded me too much of the food you buy at US gas stations. If I want a stomach ailment that badly I’ll just go swim near the water treatment plant.

      • 😀 I think the microwave has a lot to answer for! Petrol station food used to be the only option when you were travelling here too but now every small town or collection of shops has at least one bakery making interesting pies or some other yumminess. A much better option!

  1. Never heard of them and totally agree with Metan re microwaves and supermarket shelves.

    Dodgy meat isn’t my problem, although I suppose my veggies could be full of agent orange. My only indulge for pre-made meals is ‘steak style’ quorn pies. Very tasty indeed. I’d recommend them but I think America isn’t too keen on Quorn because it isn’t an American product.

    • I haven’t heard of Quorn, but you’re likely right: We Americans tend to be very provincial about our food. In fact, we’re even very provincial in a regional sense. Some folks from the north turn up their noses at Southern food and vice versa.

      • I don’t think that is an issue. I’m not a globalisation fan – although we do like Tabasco. What annoys me is when it does under a farcical cover when it is really about protectionism. Last I heard Quorn did have a problem getting accepted by the FDA or some govt board because you have a similar US made product. I’m too idle to google the detail!

      • Not surprising. We like to spout off a good bit about “free trade” but we’re the first ones to cry for tariffs and other non-competitive measures when US interests are endangered. Sounds like Quorn is running up against the old protectionist ruse of “won’t someone think of the children” that’s employed by so many demagogues and big business types.

      • There you go, that’s what I was thinking of:
        Quorn’s 2002 debut in the US was more problematic than its European introduction. The sale of Quorn was contested by The American Mushroom Institute, rival Gardenburger, and the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). They filed complaints with advertising and trading-standards watchdogs in Europe and the US, claiming the labelling of Quorn as “mushroom based” was deceptive.[2][34] The CSPI observed that while a mushroom is a fungus, Fusarium is not a mushroom, and stated, “Quorn’s fungus is as closely related to mushrooms as humans are to jellyfish.”

        It’s a wiki quorn link, but good enough.

    • Some would argue that any meat in a Hot Pocket is diseased.

      I’m sure Europe has its equivalents, but this these are something you eat when you drunk and really don’t care what you ingest, as long as you ingest something.

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