File photo of smoked sausage from Smithfield Foods Inc. in a grocery store in Zelienople, Pa. on March 4, 2011 (© Keith Srakocic-AP Photo)
Maybe the meat industry is just trying to put some of the mystery back in "mystery meat."

Smithfield Foods (SFD) is just the latest company to give consumers a special surprise with their selection from the meat case: It just recalled 38,000 pounds of "Gwaltney mild pork sausage roll” for containing bits of plastic the company says are likely from gloves.

That's right, for a few lucky eaters in Alabama, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas -- including two who reported the glove bits to the Department of Agriculture's Food and Safety inspection service -- chowing down on pork product just got a bit more interesting.

They join the esteemed ranks of consumers who in recent weeks have discovered horse DNA in their burgers and pasta dishes as well as glass shards in both their Nestle (NSRGY) Lean Cuisine entrees and bowls of Kellogg (K) Special K.

This may just be meat and food providers' way of keeping things interesting in the event that the government's sequester cuts result in a meat shortage. But maybe they can start attaching coupon codes to the packaging or putting their little surprises in shrink wrap before stuffing them into the mix. Either option beats having consumers figure it out the hard way or being forced to carefully inspect their food's packaging to see if they were fortunate enough to get some glass, plastic or horse parts thrown their way.

Speaking of which, if sausage lovers don't consider bits of a food handler's sweaty glove a particularly appealing prize, they should check their packages of Smithfield sausage roll for a Jan. 11 production date, a March 12 use-by date or the case code 78533109741.

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