Tyson recalls 132K pounds of frozen chicken nuggets with bits of plastic

The five-pound bags of fully cooked panko chicken nuggets may contain plastic, and were sold at Costco stores nationwide. 

USDA/File
Tyson chicken nugget label

Tyson Foods Inc. says it's voluntarily recalling more than 132,000 pounds of chicken nuggets after receiving reports that "hard, white plastic" was found in some nuggets.

The Springdale, Arkansas-based company said Tuesday that the 5-pound bags of fully cooked panko chicken nuggets were sold at Costco stores nationwide. A small number of 20-pound cases of chicken patties, sold under the Spare Time brand, were sold to a single wholesaler in Pennsylvania.

The full release from the USDA on recall is below:

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 fully cooked Panko Chicken Nuggets items were produced on July 18, 2016. 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.

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.

There have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about an injury or illness should contact a healthcare provider.

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.

FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers. When available, the retail distribution list(s) will be posted on the FSIS website at www.fsis.usda.gov/recalls.

Consumers with questions about the recall can contact Tyson Foods’ Consumer Relations at (866) 328-3156. Media with questions about the recall can contact Worth Sparkman-Public Relations, Corporate Affairs, at (479) 290-6358.

Consumers with food safety questions can "Ask Karen," the FSIS virtual representative available 24 hours a day at AskKaren.gov or via smartphone at m.askkaren.gov. The toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) is available in English and Spanish and can be reached from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a day. The online Electronic Consumer Complaint Monitoring System can be accessed 24 hours a day at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/reportproblem

Tyson says "a small number" of consumers contacted the company after finding small pieces of plastic in the chicken. Tyson says it's issuing the recall "out of an abundance of caution" even though it's only received a small number of reports of plastic. No injuries have been reported.

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