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If you thought those frozen chicken nuggets from Perdue and Tysons Foods tasted terrible, there could be a reason why — they had bits of rubber and wood and unlabelled other products like milk (an allergen) in them. Consumers found pieces of “soft, blue rubber” inside the food and contacted Tysons; similarly, consumers found wood inside Purdue organic, gluten-free nuggets. All were recalled — to check exactly which packages and products to look for, check the current USDA recall and alerts list here.
“The problem was discovered when the firm received three consumer complaints that wood was found in the product. A complaint was also reported to FSIS’ consumer complaint monitoring system. FSIS [USDA Food Safety Inspection Service] was notified by the firm” that day.
Then on January 28, Perdue recalled another 16,000 pounds “ready-to-eat (RTE) chicken nugget products due to misbranding and undeclared allergens, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today. The products contain milk, a known allergen, which is not declared on the product label.”
“The rubber came from part of a seal on a piece of equipment used to produce nuggets, said Worth Sparkman, a Tyson spokesman. Part of the seal was pinched during the normal process and was introduced into the blend of nuggets, he said.”
“Perdue discovered its most recent problem when a store informed the company that the labeling on the products was incorrect, according to the U.S.D.A.”
“It was not clear how the wood or other materials got into the nuggets.”
The product recalls were not impacted by the shutdown — these offices in the USDA kept working through the shutdown. The FDA inspections of vegetables and fish were impacted, but not meat inspections at the USDA.
Why This Matters: The number of food safety recalls has been particularly high this year — between these and the lettuce recalls, the list is quite long. Our food safety system is not as strong and comprehensive as it should be. Some of these nuggets were labeled as “organic” — but those labels don’t mean anything if there are lax safety regulations, infrequent inspections, and minimal enforcement. Allergens slipping into food items unmarked can cause serious illness and even death. As a mom of two kids with deadly nut allergies, I (Monica) am concerned. Our civilian agencies are not funded at the level they should be. We have been running the non-defense agencies on shoestring budgets for far too long. Indeed, the C.D.C. estimates that salmonella infections alone, the vast majority of them from food, cause about 1.2 million illnesses and 450 deaths a year. We should do better.
Why This Matters: The fact that Bayer is likely to get approval for this new crop, which would be resistant to the active chemical in Roundup, suggests that the losses in court had and will continue to have little impact on the company’s trajectory. Just because these herbicides won’t “harm” GE corn does not mean they won’t harm us.
As Pride Month has come to a close, we wanted to recognize members of the LGBTQ+ community who are breaking down barriers — gastronomic and cultural. Earlier this week a blog on Ecowatch.com called Food Tank spotlighted 24 collectives, farms, and other organizations that are working to strengthen LGBTQ+ representation in the food system, which […]
With supermarkets running low on meat, seafood is a healthy option, and sales of frozen seafood like shrimp and canned seafood (much of which is imported) are up over last year, according to some retailers. Most of the domestic seafood landed and sold in the U.S. comes from small fishing businesses and goes to restaurants and those sales are down as much as 95% across the country.
Why This Matters: Congress provided $300m for fishers in stimulus funding, but it is only a “drop in the bucket” of what is needed to keep fishers afloat said Alaskan commercial fisher Julie Decker on Tuesday at a forum convened by the Ocean Caucus Foundation.
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