Pilgrim’s Pride ordered a massive recall of cooked chicken products after consumers and federal meat inspectors found foreign metals such as wood, metal, plastic and rubber in the food. According to an Associated Press news report, the company recalled almost 4.6 million pounds of fully cooked chicken products, an expansion of an earlier recall announced April 7 covering almost 41,000 pounds of cooked chicken nugget products.
Tuesday’s recall involves products manufactured between Aug. 21, 2014 and March 1. The items were shipped nationwide for institutional use. The company’s records show many schools purchased the products through Pilgrim’s Pride commercial channels.
So far no illnesses or adverse reactions from the consumption of products have been reported. This recall involves 10-, 20- and 30-pound boxes of clear five-pound bags of various chicken products including breaded chicken nuggets, patties and popcorn-style fritters. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has alerted consumers who purchased these products to either discard them or return them to the manufacturer. The company has said it is reviewing its production processes and plant systems to prevent such contamination in the future.
Food Contamination by Foreign Objects
We routinely read or hear about bacteria contamination in food products. But, often, foreign objects such as pieces of metal, glass, plastic or rubber, also contaminate food products. Sharp fragments have the potential to surprise the consumer and cause serious injury or harm if ingested.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers a product adulterated if it contains a hard or sharp foreign object that measures 7 mm to 25 mm in length and is ready to eat or requires only minimal preparation steps that would not eliminate or neutralize the hazard before the food is consumed. Glass is the most frequently reported foreign material in food to cause illness or injury.
Responsibility of Food Manufacturers
Processed food passes through a variety of machines and conveyor belts before it reaches consumers. So, it is understandable that there is a potential for contamination as food products are processed. However, food producers have a responsibility to produce and sell items that are safe and healthy for consumers.
Injured victims of defective products can hold manufacturers responsible by filing a product liability claim and seeking compensation for the injuries, damages and losses caused. An experienced California food poisoning lawyer can provide affected victims with more information about pursuing their legal rights.