The HoHo's under recall have expiration dates ranging from Jan. 29 to Feb. 13.
The products can be returned to the place they were purchased for a refund.
The food has a ''57'' code as part of the expiration date on the package, the company said.
Ray Sutton, general counsel for Interstate Brands, said workers removing the insulation didn't realize it contained asbestos. They were not properly licensed or protected and did not follow procedures that would have protected the plant's ventilation system, Schafer said.
Company employees hauled the asbestos through an area where the food is made and discarded it in a trash bin, Schafer said. Samples taken from the floor of the boiler room showed ''very high levels'' of asbestos, he said.
Asbestos, once widely used in insulation because it is fireproof, is known to cause cancer and other health problems when inhaled. Not much is known about the health risks of eating food contaminated with asbestos, Schafer said. But he said studies have linked repeated consumption to cancer in the esophagus and the gastrointestinal tract.
Interstate Brands, based in Kansas City, Mo., is the nation's largest wholesale baker.
''Number one, we don't think the product got contaminated, and number two, if it did, we don't think that it will have any health effects on anyone,'' Sutton said. ''But as a safety precaution, we made a voluntary recall of the product.''
The brands involved are Dolly Madison Cupcakes and the following Hostess products: HoHo's, Twinkies, Light Twinkies, Cupcakes, Light Cup, Light Brownie, Chocolicious, Muffin-Oat Bran, Valentine, Hoppers, Dessert Cup, Fruit Pies and Honey Bun.
Schafer said the company told health officials that the states involved are: Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia and Wisconsin.