The Food Lion chain earlier this week issued a recall of certain kinds of ground beef that had been offered for sale at the supermarket off Hunter Hill Road.

Matthew Harakal, manager of external communications for Food Lion, told the Telegram in an email on Wednesday that during a routine cleaning, an associate found small pieces of metal inside a machine used to produce in-store prepared ground beef.

Harakal told the newspaper that because food safety is Food Lion’s top concern, out of an abundance of caution, the chain made the decision to recall all of the in-store prepared ground beef produced at the supermarket off Hunter Hill.

Harakal also told the newspaper that Food Lion is contacting customers who used the chain’s MVP savings card when purchasing any of the items because the chain can track purchases in which customers used that card.

Lori Boone, who is the food and lodging program specialist for Nash County Environmental Health, told the newspaper in an email on Wednesday an inspector got the specifics about what had happened.

Boone said the inspector learned from the evening supermarket general manager that an employee found a metal clip in the meat grinder.

Boone said the clip is used to fasten the outside of the bulk meat packaging.

She said Food Lion pulled all of the meat from the store shelves, issued the recall and cleaned and sanitized the equipment.

Heather Overton, assistant director for public affairs for the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, told the Telegram on Wednesday that in this particular case, Food Lion would be responsible for handling the recall.

Overton said if the case had been one of Food Lion not cooperating, then Nash County would have become responsible and if the county had needed assistance, then the county could contact either Agriculture and Consumer Services or the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Food Lion on Tuesday announced a recall of four varieties of in-store prepared ground beef, saying in a brief statement that the product may contain foreign material.

The affected varieties are all sizes of 73 percent fresh ground beef, all sizes of 80 percent fresh ground beef, all sizes of 85 percent fresh ground beef and all sizes of 93 percent fresh ground beef.

Food Lion said customers could return the item to the supermarket off Hunter Hill Road for a refund equal to double the purchase price.

Food Lion is based in Salisbury in the central Piedmont area of the state and has more than 1,000 stores in 10 southeastern and Mid-Atlantic states.

Food Lion is part of the U.S. part of the Netherlands-based Ahold Delhaize food retail group.

The supermarket off Hunter Hill Road is the largest of the businesses at a retail center at the southeast corner of the intersection of Hunter Hill and Country Club roads in the northwestern part of the city.

The supermarket is in a busy area, with state Transportation Department data showing an average daily traffic count of 9,300 vehicles on the part of Hunter Hill Road adjacent to the retail center.