Tyson Foods Recalls Frozen Chicken for Possible Plastic Contamination
The USDA announced Friday that Tyson Foods was recalling over 3,000 pounds of frozen, breaded chicken products that “may be contaminated with extraneous materials, specifically blue and clear soft plastic.”
The specific products being recalled are labeled “Uncooked, Breaded, Original Chicken Tenderloins,” and would have been sold in 12-pound boxes containing several 3-pound plastic bags of chicken. Products with the lot code 1378NLR02 are affected by the recall.
According to USDA, the products were only sold to food service operators, and weren’t available for retail purchase. The agency rates the health risk of the contaminated product as “low,” and says there have been no confirmed reports of harm to consumers, but urges anyone who has bought the products to throw them away.
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The current recall pales in comparison to other recent scares around Tyson chicken. In June 2017, the company recalled 2.5 million pounds of chicken because of labeling issues. The year before that, the company recalled more than 132,000 pounds of chicken nuggets due to contamination with hard plastic, which the USDA rated as a “high” health risk.
Recurrent contamination issues may be linked to high-intensity working conditions in the meat packing industry. Tyson processing facilities were among those found in a 2016 OxFam report to offer workers few breaks and little safety oversight, conditions so bleak that some workers wore adult diapers or urinated on themselves to keep up. Tyson has since established better oversight structures to give workers more influence over conditions, and has also committed to a broad push for sustainability.