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4.5 Million Pounds of Pilgrim's Pride Chicken Recalled

Posted on in Food Poisoning
4.5 Million Pounds of Pilgrim's Pride Chicken Recalled

When dangerous bacteria is found in food, that food's manufacturer issues a recall as soon as possible to contain the bacteria and prevent any further cases of consumers falling ill with food poisoning after eating it. You can stay up-to-date about the latest food recalls by visiting recalls.gov.

Recalls are not always due to harmful bacteria found in food. Sometimes, non-edible materials make their way into food products during processing, which can harm consumers if they are eaten. This happened recently, when the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported that “extraneous materials,” which included wood, plastic, and metal, were found in samples of cooked chicken products from manufacturer Pilgrim's Pride. These products were sold under various labels, such as Pierce, Sweet Georgia, and Golden Kist Farms, in stores across the United States. The chicken products were also served in schools. Pilgrim's Pride recalled more than 4.5 million pounds of its products, which included breaded chicken nuggets, chicken patties, tenderloins, and popcorn chicken.

How Can Food Become Contaminated?

The report about the Pilgrim's Pride chicken recall states that it is unclear how the extraneous materials got into the chicken. This is not uncommon. Processed foods are handled by many individuals, passing through many environments between their origin point and the consumer. For example, the chicken products recalled went from the farm where the chickens were raised, then transported for slaughter, trimming, and butchering, then processed at a plant where preformed patties were made, breaded, cooked, and frozen, then shipped out to distribution centers. From the distribution centers, the products were transported to their final destinations, where they would either be reheated and served or placed on grocery store shelves for consumers to purchase and warm themselves. Tracing the point at which the materials came into contact with the meat can be difficult or even impossible.

Non-edible materials and harmful can get into food through cross-contamination, which is where the food comes into contact with a utensil, storage container, or cutting board that contains the foreign material. Bacteria can also grow when food is not heated or stored properly. To reduce the chance of cross-contamination, wash all raw foods thoroughly and do not use utensils or cutting boards between preparation courses without washing them thoroughly. Inspect all food items for foreign bodies before beginning meal preparation and if something appears to be “off” about the food, do not use it. It is better to err on the side of caution when determining what to feed yourself and your family.

Work with a Chicago Food Poisoning Attorney

If you or your child have suffered from food poisoning after finding non-food material in a packaged or prepared food product, you could potentially have grounds to file a personal injury claim. To learn more about this process and to get started on your claim, contact our team of experienced food poisoning attorneys at Newland & Newland, LLP today to schedule your initial legal consultation with us. Our firm is located in the prestigious 180 North LaSalle Street building in Chicago.

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