Usually when you say something tastes like rubber, or is as hard as a block of wood, it’s not meant to be literal. On the heels of headline-making lettuce and beef recalls, January was the “Month of the Chicken Nugget.” Three major recalls involving Tyson and Perdue — two of the largest meat producers in the country — were announced by the USDA Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS for short). In total, 120,000 lbs. of chicken nuggets were pulled from the shelves, to the horror of children everywhere.
The Tyson Recall
The issue for Tyson was that consumers found pieces of “soft, blue rubber” in their nuggets: 36,000 pounds recalled. A spokesperson for the company said that the contaminant is from a rubber seal on equipment used to make the nuggets. The seal was pinched, which caused pieces to break off into the blend of chicken during had otherwise been a normal manufacturing process.
In total 7,200 bags of chicken nuggets were recalled by Tyson, with details as follows:
Label: Tyson White Meat Panko Chicken Nuggets
Size: 5lb. bag
Produced On: November 26, 2018
Best If Used By: November 26, 2019
The recalled chicken nuggets were being sold at club stores nationwide, including in California, and bear the number P13556 within the USDA mark of inspection. Check your freezers to see if your family’s chicken nuggets are among those recalled. If found, either throw them away or return them to the store you purchased them from.
Consumers with additional questions may contact Tyson Consumer Relations at 1-888-747-7611.
The Purdue Recalls
Purdue customers are sure to be unhappy with two back to back recalls of their chicken nuggets. First, 16,000 lbs. of Purdue’s Ready-to-wear Fun Shapes Chicken Nuggets Chicken Breast Nuggets were recalled because of a mislabeling issue. Said Purdue, “These items were produced with the wrong back panel label and have an incorrect ingredient statement that did not have the milk allergen declared on the package.”
Click here to view the label information of the affected food items, sold in 12 oz. packages with a use by date of “March 11, 2019,” and with lot codes 17009010-19009010. The items subject to recall bear the establishment number P-369 within the USDA mark of inspection, and were shipped to stores in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions.
At first blush, a milk allergy might seem the same as lactose intolerance symptomatically — both might manifest with diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, bloating, or gas — but their cause it’s different. Lactose intolerance involves the digestive system, and one’s inability to produce lactase, the enzyme we need to digest lactose.
A dairy allergy is involves the immune system, and could range from mild to severe, with rashes, trouble breathing, loss of consciousness, or even anaphylaxis and death occurring. People with severe allergies must stay constantly vigilant to ensure they don’t accidentally ingest their particular allergen. Thus# it is vital that companies properly label their foods — always.
An even larger recall was announced earlier in the month by Purdue, affecting a further 68,000 lbs. of chicken nuggets. This time it’s because they received three different consumer complaints about what appeared to be wood discovered in their chicken nuggets.
From the recall, the affected products were: “22-oz. plastic bag packages of frozen “PERDUE SimplySmart ORGANICS BREADED CHICKEN BREAST NUGGETS GLUTEN FREE” with “Best By: Date 10/25/19” and UPC Bar Code “72745-80656” represented on the label.”
As with the Tyson recall, check your freezers and refrigerators for the affected products. No reports have surfaced of people falling ill yet, but we’re still early on in the recall process.
If you feel sick after eating the contaminated or mislabeled products, especially if you have a milk allergy, the FSIS advises you to head to a hospital.
It’s not worth the risk.
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Check Out These References for Further Reading:
“Lactose Intolerance vs. Dairy Allergy.” WebMD. Retrieved 2 February 2019. https://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/lactose-intolerance-or-dairy-allergy
“CA Chicken Nuggets Recall: Possible Rubber Contamination.” Patch Media. Retrieved 2 February 2019. https://patch.com/california/walnutcreek/ca-chicken-nuggets-recall-possible-rubber-contamination
“Rubber and Wood in Chicken Nuggets: Why 120,000 Pounds Were Recalled.” The New York Times. Retrieved 2 February 2019. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/30/us/tyson-chicken-nuggets-recall-dino.html
“Tyson Recalls Chicken Nuggets That May Contain Rubber.” NBC Los Angeles. Retrieved 2 February 2019. https://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/national-international/Tyson-Recalls-Chicken-Nuggets-That-May-Contain-Rubber-USDA-505071421.html