Wish-Bone Ranch Dressing Has Been Recalled For, Well, Maybe Not Being Ranch Dressing

Here's an important story for any of you ranch dressing devotees out there, even if I don't quite get the appeal of the stuff — thousands of bottles worth of Wish-Bone Ranch Dressing have been recalled. Why, you ask? Because they may not actually contain ranch dressing, but a different flavor: Wish-Bone Blue Cheese Dressing. Just imagine it: you crack open your bottle of ranch and pour some out, only for the unmistakable scent of blue cheese to waft into your nostrils instead. Well, the scent of blue cheese-flavored dressing, at least.

Sounds like an innocent enough snafu, no? Surely, with some of the startling food safety stories that have been in the news lately, a simple mislabeled bottle of salad dressing doesn't seem like such an issue. But there is a crucially important complicating factor in all this, as detailed by TIME — the company's blue cheese-favored dressing uses eggs, while their ranch dressing does not.

In other words, if you're allergic to eggs, you need to make sure you don't have the wrong dressing. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), rates of food allergies in children rose sharply from 1997 to 2011, and for many people such allergies can be very serious. Luckily, according to a press release by the FDA about the voluntary recall, no illnesses have yet been reported as a result of the mix-up. And given that the recall is now very publicly visible, hopefully it'll stay that way.

So, here's what you need to know: according to the release, 8,678 cases of the erroneously-labeled dressing were shipped out nationwide, meaning you'll want to investigate any you've got in your kitchen, regardless of where you live.

Fortunately, it should be pretty easy to find out if you got the wrong dressing. They've also released the "best used by" date found on the neck of each affected bottle, as well as their size, and the Universal Product Code (UPC). If you have a bottle of Wish-Bone Ranch Dressing that meets the following three criteria:

  • A 24 oz. bottle
  • A "best used by" date of Feb. 17, 2016
  • A UPC of 0-41321-00661-6

...you're eligible to return the product wherever you bought it, and get a full refund.

Of course, in the event you already opened the bottle you may have noticed something was awry on aroma alone, and hey, maybe you like blue cheese dressing. Maybe this whole mishap was just what you needed to finally be adventurous and go with something other than ranch, and you're perfectly happy hanging onto your secret blue cheese dressing stash. Just make sure everybody knows what's in it before you throw a salad party.

Images: FDA (2)