Small pieces of metal may have contaminated more than 2 million pounds of frozen, ready-to-cook chicken products distributed throughout the United States, including restaurants, schools, hospitals and other locations.
The U.S. Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) announced a frozen chicken recall on November 6, after routine quality checks for products distributed by Simmons Prepared Foods, Inc. indicated that the meat may contain extraneous material, specifically metal, which could cause laceration and choking hazards if swallowed.
The recall includes an estimated 2,071,397 pounds of fresh and frozen ready-to-cook poultry products produced from October 21, 2019 through November 4, 2019, including chicken legs, wings and whole chickens that were packaged and marked with the establishment numbers P-1949 and P-5837 inside of the USDA mark of inspection.
The impacted poultry products were shipped to a variety of institutions including restaurants, schools, hospitals and distributors in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Minnesota, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania. According to the distributor, the recalled poultry was not distributed to grocery or retail locations.
According to Simmons officials, the extraneous material contaminated the chicken products during production, and was likely caused by one of the pieces of machinery. The manufacturer stated the metal fragments were discovered through standard food safety and quality checks.
To date, the size of the metal pieces that entered the recalled chicken is unknown and officials are urging consumers to stop eating and serving the products to prevent potential injury. The FSIS is asking institutions to check their freezers for any recalled chicken products and to either discard them or return them to their place of purchase.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has categorized the recall as a “Class I recall”, indicating there is a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death.
Customers with additional questions or concerns regarding the recall are encouraged to contact Donald Miller at Simmons Prepared Foods, Inc. at 888-831-7007. FSIS officials are encouraging any adverse health events involving the recalled chicken products be reported to the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 7-888-MPHotline.