So you're craving a cheesesteak, but everything's closed. You stagger into your corner store, ready to settle for a Philly Steak & Cheese Hot Pocket. It just might do the trick, right?* But the trick will have to remain undone, for Philly Steak & Cheese Hot Pockets are off the menu for the foreseeable future.

The trouble began at Northern California slaughterhouse Rancho Feeding Corp., which voluntarily ceased operations earlier this month after a USDA investigation revealed that Rancho had allegedly "processed diseased and unsound animals" which were "unwholesome or otherwise are unfit for human food." (The Santa Rosa Press Democrat has a pretty harrowing account of the whole situation that you probably shouldn't read while you're eating.)

On February 8, 2014 the USDA reported that Petaluma-based Rancho was working to recall all the meat processed at the plant in 2013. Sure, a lot of this is a fool's errand, as meat processed in 2013 should have already been consumed by 2014. But not if it's in certain types of Hot Pockets, apparently: today Nestlé USA’s Prepared Foods Division announced a voluntary recall of their Philly Steak and Cheese and Croissant Crust (fancy!) Philly Steak and Cheese Hot Pockets, as some of that steak was apparently less Philly and more Petaluma, California.

Our teams at Nestlé have reviewed our vendor records and have determined that one Nestlé brand has been impacted by the Rancho meat recall.

While Nestlé did not purchase meat directly from Rancho, our procurement teams worked with our supply chain to understand whether any company in this chain may have purchased meat from Rancho Feeding at any time during 2013, the period of time covered by the Rancho Feeding recall.

From this review, we have confirmed that a small quantity of meat from Rancho was used at Nestlé's Chatsworth, California production operation, a facility devoted entirely to HOT POCKETS® brand sandwiches

Yum! Nothing says good eating "procurement teams" and "supply chain"!

Think you might have some bad Hot Pockets in your possession? For God's sake, don't eat them: Nestlé says you should "return it to the place of purchase for a full refund or contact Nestlé Consumer Services at 800-392-4057."

* WRONG. When it comes to ranking Hot Pockets, Philly Steak & Cheese is the absolute worst. (Pepperoni, as you very well know, comes in at No. 1.)

[Press Democrat]
[Nestle USA]