Consumers are learning about yet another massive food recall, this time over chicken that has extraneous materials such as rubber and wood included in them. As horrifying as this sounds to anybody who might have considered eating the product, those in the food industry say that it is not at all uncommon and that the recalls are a sign that the system is working.
According to Benjamin Chapman, a food safety expert, food recalls caused by foreign objects in food account for roughly 20 percent of U.S. recalls. “I wouldn’t say it’s a coincidence; if we went back 10 years, it would be the same.”
The most recent recall involved three different poultry providers issuing recalls nearly simultaneously: Pilgrim’s Pride recalled 58,000 pounds of popcorn-style chicken which they sell to Publix Supermarkets, Tyson Foods recalled over 36,000 pounds of chicken potentially contaminated with rubber immediately before the Super Bowl, and on January 17th Perdue foods recalled over 68,000 pounds of chicken nuggets that were reported to have been contaminated with wood.
Chicken Food Recalls Issued After Consumer Complaints
According to statements issued by all three companies, the products were being recalled after consumers reported having found an assortment of foreign objects in the products. There were no reported illnesses or injuries that resulted from the discoveries. All three companies expressed concern that the products were still in consumers’ freezers, and might not be removed.
According to Mr. Chapman, who is an associate professor at North Carolina State University’s department of agricultural and human sciences, it is not at all uncommon for plastic or rubber to be found in food that goes through processing plants, as those items are used in packaging and therefore are vulnerable to getting caught in machinery. He told CNBC, “It’s a good news story because the system is working and there are no illnesses.”