updated 2/18/2006 12:40:35 AM ET 2006-02-18T05:40:35

A northern Illinois resident reported finding a bird’s head in a can of pinto beans, prompting a Chicago-based food company to announce a voluntary recall on Friday.

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La Preferida Inc. said in a statement that it was recalling a limited number of its cans as a precaution. The company says the beans were canned by New Meridian Inc. in Eaton, Ind.

“There are still many unanswered questions, but we have decided to err on the side of safety,” said David Brand, La Preferida’s director of quality assurance.

The company is investigating to determine how the bird head got into the 15-ounce can, he said. The Illinois Department of Public Health and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are also investigating.

Luz Marrufo, a 28-year-old nurse’s assistant, told the Daily Chronicle in DeKalb that she found the bird’s head Thursday while preparing breakfast for her three sons. She said she purchased the can at a grocery store in Aurora.

“I don’t think we’ll be eating beans for a long time, unless I make them,” Marrufo told the newspaper.

She gave the can to the county’s health department. No injuries or illnesses resulted, the company said.

The cans affected by the recall bear the lot number 5348 MF on the lid. The batch was canned Dec. 14 and is marked by a best-buy date of Dec. 14, 2007, the company said.

A phone message left with New Meridian Friday evening was not immediately returned.

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