The largest poultry producer in the United States has expanded a recall that federal food safety regulators say includes nearly 5 million pounds of cooked chicken products potentially contaminated with foreign materials. Pilgrim’s Pride expanded the recall of cooked chicken products on Friday. The first recall began in early April after receiving consumer complaints that claimed to find plastic in chicken nuggets. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) said there haven’t been any reports of “adverse reactions” from eating the products, but consumers should still throw away or return the chicken products as they might find items such as wood, plastic, rubber, or metal in their meal.
According to the USDA, the initial recall last month included 40,780 pounds of cooked chicken products and spiked to approximately 4,568,080 pounds of recalled products on Friday. Have a look in your freezer to see if your chicken products — breaded chicken nuggets, tenderloins, patties, and patty fritters are all included — were produced between Aug. 21, 2014 to March 1, 2016. You can check product labels here. The products were sold in stores under the Gold Kist Farms, Pierce, and Sweet Georgia brands.
Pilgrim’s Pride — located in Waco, Texas — shipped the products to grocery stores and institutions like schools nationwide, according to the USDA press release on Friday. There have been no confirmed reports of any adverse reactions from eating these products to date. The USDA advises anyone who is concerned about falling ill or an injury to contact a healthcare provider.
The problem was first discovered in early April after several consumers complained of finding plastic in the chicken nuggets and Pilgrim’s Pride informed government on April 6. The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service found that more chicken products were also contaminated and initiated the first recall on April 7.
While the recall is now very large and widespread, make sure to still look at your chicken products carefully. If you have other questions about the recall, you can call the company at 800-321-1470 or the USDA’s meat and poultry hotline at 888-674-6854. If you don’t feel like getting on the phone, the USDA’s “Ask Karen,” a virtual representative, is also available to answer questions about food safety 24 hours a day at AskKaren.gov.
There seems to be a new recall every week lately and that’s a bummer when you want to be in and out of the store in 15 minutes flat. So if all the recall news lately has you feeling flustered, you can use this opportunity to try a new brand you’ve been eyeing or take whack at the farmer’s market for a more organic option while you wait for these recalls to fizzle out.