Tyson Foods Inc., makes some of America’s favorite foods. In fact, Tyson chicken nuggets are a regular staple in many families’ freezers. As popular as this food brand is, it has been tainted with more than one recall of its products, and today is no different. On September 27, 2016, the USDA issued a new food recall for the food conglomerate warning the public of the possibility of “foreign material” that could be present in 65 tons of their Panko Chicken Nuggets that were produced on July 18, 2016.
This isn’t Tyson Foods Incorporated’s first recall. In fact, in 2014, the food company recalled 33,840 pounds of mechanically separated chicken products that may be contaminated with Salmonella (Source: USDA)
Most Recent Recall Information
According to the USDA:
“Tyson Foods Inc., a Sedalia, Mo. establishment, is recalling approximately 132,520 pounds of fully cooked chicken nugget products that may be contaminated with hard plastic, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.”
The following products are subject to recall: [View Labels (PDF Only)]
- 5-lb. bag containing “Tyson FULLY COOKED PANKO CHICKEN NUGGETS” with a “Best If Used By” date of July 18, 2017 and case code 2006SDL03 and 2006SDL33.
- 20-lb. bulk packages containing “SPARE TIME Fully Cooked, Panko Chicken Nuggets, Nugget Shaped Chicken Breast Pattie Fritters with Rib Meat” with a production date of July 18, 2016 and case code 2006SDL03.
The products subject to recall bear establishment number “EST. 13556” printed adjacent to the “Best If Used By” date on the back of the package. The 20-pound cases were shipped for institutional use in Pennsylvania and the five-pound bags were shipped to retail locations nationally. Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.
Officials are concerned consumers may have the recalled chicken nuggets in their homes due to the long shelf life of the product. Although there have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions from consumption, anyone concerned with injury or illness should contact a healthcare provider.
What is this Foreign Material?
The problem was discovered after the firm received consumer complaints regarding foreign material contamination of chicken nugget products. According to Tyson Foods, the plastic material ranged in size from 21mm in length and 6.5mm in diameter and may have come from a round, hard plastic rod used to connect a plastic transfer belt. The firm said the products pass through a metal detector, but the plastic is not detectable to this technology.
What Has This Taught Us?
As discussed in previous articles, the FDA guidelines for food safety are somewhat skewed. In a handbook by the FDA titled “The Food Defect Action Levels,” the government agency writes that “it is economically impractical to grow, harvest, or process raw products that are totally free of non-hazardous, naturally occurring, unavoidable defects.” These unavoidable contaminations range from feces, rodent hairs, insects and even machinery mold. Although the FDA only allows a minute amount of these defects, nevertheless, they can still be present in food sources.
If this present recall can teach us anything, it is to second guess food sources that come from factories and warehouses. Recalls are occurring more frequently and are too many to count at this point. If you want to ensure that the food sources your family consumes are as pure and healthy as possible, consider growing your own food sources.
Visit these websites to find the latest on safety recalls:
- Recalls.gov lists government-initiated recalls from federal agencies. You can sign up for free e-mail notifications on recalls.
- Safercar.gov publishes safety information on vehicles and equipment such as children’s car seats.
- FSIS.USDA.gov lists recalls that involve meat, sausage, poultry, and processed egg products.
- FDA.gov lists recalls that involve food (non-meat products; fruits; vegetables; seafood; shelled eggs; infant formulas), medicines, medical devices, cosmetics, biologics, radiation emitting products, veterinary drugs, and pet food.
- Foodsafety.gov publishes notices of food recalls and alerts from both the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
- SaferProducts.gov allows you to report incidents and safety concerns with consumer products, and search for incidents reported by other consumers.