Tyson Foods has recalled over 18 tons of frozen chicken nuggets that may be contaminated with rubber.
Tyson Foods published a news release on Tuesday, explaining that it is undertaking a voluntary recall of certain chicken products. It stressed that the company was exercising "out of an abundance of caution," recalling 36,420 pounds of product.
"A small number of consumers contacted the company to say they had found small pieces of soft, blue plastic in the nuggets, prompting the company to issue the recall," it explained.
The product in question is Tyson's 5-pound bags of Fully Cooked Panko Chicken Nuggets. The potentially contaminated bags were shipped to club store distribution centers in Arizona, California, Illinois, New Jersey and Utah. The chicken was sent out on Nov. 26, 2018, meaning it had plenty of time to be purchased before the recall.
Customers with the 5-pound bags in their freezers can look for a few tell-tale signs to see if their product falls under the recall. It will most likely feature a "best if used by" date of Nov. 26, 2019, with an Establishment number of "P12556." Other lot numbers, case codes, time stamps and UPC numbers are listed in Tyson Foods' news release.
If customers do find their products to be in the recalled batch, they can cut the UPC and date code out from the bag before throwing it away. They can mail the codes to Tyson Foods' P.O. box in North Carolina — also listed in the release — to get a full refund. The company also has customer service phone numbers for those concerned.
How exactly this contamination happened remains a mystery. Tyson's release repeatedly stressed that only a "very small number of packages" have been found to contain the rubber, though the exact number was not given.
The last few months have been filled with shocking food recalls, including meat, vegetables and prepared foods like these. Just two weeks ago, Perdue Foods had to issue a similar recall on its Simply Smart Organics Brand Gluten Free Chicken Breast Nuggets, when they were found to contain pieces of wood.
"After a thorough investigation, we strongly believe this to be an isolated incident, as only a minimal amount of these packages has the potential to contain pieces of wood," a Perdue spokeswoman told Huffington Post at the time.
The increasing prevalence of food recalls may have more to do with the increasingly sensetive testing equipment, however, rather than increasingly contaminated food, as FDA Commissioner Scott Gotlieb told CNN.
"I think what's happening is that we have better technology than ever before to link outbreaks of human illness to a common pathogen," he said.