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Millions of Pounds of Chicken Nuggets, Chicken Patties, Recalled Due to Foreign Material Contamination

A recent chicken recall has been expanded to include more than 4.5 million pounds of
poultry products, due to a risk that they may be contaminated with plastic, rubber, metal, wood and other materials that could injure consumers. 

The Pilgrim’s Pride chicken products recall was originally announced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on April 7, including an estimated 40,780 fully cooked chicken nugget products potentially contaminated with pieces of plastic.

After further analysis by the U.S. Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS), a Pilgrim’s Pride chicken recall expansion was announced on April 26, to include over 4.5 million pounds of various chicken products that could be contaminated with foreign material fragments capable of causing lacerations and choking hazards.

Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation first discovered the contamination after several consumers complained that they found pieces of plastic in chicken nuggets. The FSIS was notified on April 16 and launched an official investigation.

The agency identified more affected products than originally recalled after assessing the dates and times of production that were processed on the same assembly lines. Additional consumer complaints regarding other chicken products were received during the investigation, prompting the agency to expand the scope of the recall to a variety of fully cooked chicken products.

Although there have been no reports of adverse health consequences, the manufacturing company and FSIS are not fully aware of the potential size of the fragments that could have entered the food. Depending on the consumer and the material of the fragments encountered, individuals could potentially suffer from choking hazards and lacerations to the mouth and intestines if swallowed.

The recall includes 4,568,080 pounds of fully cooked chicken products that were sold as nuggets, strips, patties, breakfast patties, popcorn style chicken bites, tenderloins and chicken breast patties with rib meat. Some of the products included in the recall included “Whole Grain” and “Hot & Spicy” styles of the chicken products.

The recalled chicken products were manufactured and processed by Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation of Waco, Texas throughout the time frame between August 21, 2014 and March 1, 2016. The original recall of 40,780 pounds of chicken nugget products was manufactured on October 5, 2015. All of the recalled products contain the USDA mark of inspection bearing establishment number “EST.20728”. According to Pilgrim’s Pride records, the products were shipped across the U.S. for institutional use, including schools and other commercial channels. A full list of affected products is available in the FSIS recall notice linked above.

Customers are being urged to stop consuming the products immediately and either dispose of the remaining or return the product to its place of purchase for disposal. Customers with questions are encouraged to contact Pilgrim’s Pride Consumer Relations Manager, James Brown, at 800-321-1470.

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