Having pre-cooked protein in the freezer can be a real time-saver at dinnertime. But right now there is good reason to take few extra seconds and have a good look at that pre-cooked chicken you might be planning to use. That’s because 430,000 pounds of cooked frozen chicken has been recalled nationwide over the possibility of foreign materials in the meat.
The chicken comes from Wayne Farms and the company has issued a nationwide recall following a customer complaint on July 27, according to ABC News affiliate WLOX. The recall covers frozen, ready-to-eat, fully cooked chicken products that were produced between July 4 and July 17, 2018, according to a recall notice issued by the USDA. Romper's request for further comment from Wayne Farms regarding the recall was not immediately returned.
The best way to determine if your chicken is affected is to look for the number “P-20214” inside the USDA mark of inspection, as explained in the recall notice. That mark of inspection is the small round circle located on the processing sticker (you can see it highlighted in the image below). It can be quite small so yes, reading glasses might be required!
The recall seems to only include some white meat chicken products from Wayne Farms. Look for these item names that are on the list of recalled products:
- ¾” X ¾” Diced Chicken White Meat
- Fully Cooked Diced Chicken
- ¾” X 1” Chicken White Meat
- Fully Cooked Grilled Seasoned White Meat Chicken Fines
- FC Grill Chicken meat
- FC CKN White Meat Diced
- Fully Cooked Grill Marked White Chicken Strips
- Fully Cooked All Natural Diced Chicken
- Fully Cooked All Natural Diced Seasoned White Meat Chicken
- Fully Cooked Grill Marked White Meat Chicken Strips
No one has become sick or been injured as a result of the chicken at this time, according to the Daily Independent. Still, caution is wise and the USDA advises that affected items should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.
The customer complaint in July led to an investigation which determined that metal is the most likely contaminant that might be found in the chicken, according to WAFF Channel 48. The station also reported that the chicken was shipped to restaurants, distribution centers, and processors around the country. A list of retail outlets the chicken was sold at is not yet available, according to the USDA, who advises that when one becomes available, it will be posted on the Food Safety and Inspection Service website.
Food processors follow strict guidelines set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to ensure no foreign objects get into food that is ready to sell. FDA requirements consider a product unsellable if it contains a hard or sharp object between 7mm and 25mm in length, in food that is ready-to-eat or for which preparation steps would not “eliminate, invalidate, or neutralize the hazard prior to consumption.”
If you have any questions about the recall or any food safety questions, the FSIS operates a 24-hour “Ask Karen” virtual services at AskKaren.gov (or m.AskKaren.gov for smartphones). The USDA also has a specific Meat and Poultry Hotline available from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET at 1-888-674-6854.
Thankfully this recall hasn’t resulted in any injuries, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry, so please consider the USDA’s advice to discard the chicken or return it to the store if you find that yours has been impacted. And, as a general rule of thumb, if there ever is a concern over illness or injury from consuming food, just go straight to the doctor.