The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has issued a recall for more than 15,000 pounds of Applegate Naturals frozen chicken nuggets after complaints of small pieces of plastic found in the meat. The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service announced the recall pertaining to 8-ounce boxes of Applegate Naturals Chicken Nuggets produced on Feb. 5, 2014, at a facility in Gainesville, Ga., run by Perdue Farms. The nuggets were shipped nationwide.
The recall comes after Applegate on Aug. 8 voluntarily withdrew the chicken nugget packages, which have a “best before” date of Feb. 5, 2015. The problem was discovered after Applegate received consumer complaints of small pieces of plastic in the nuggets, the USDA said. No injury or illness from eating the nuggets has been reported. The USDA upgraded Applegate’s voluntary withdrawal to a Class II recall because many consumers may still have the products in their possession.
The company has confirmed that 30,468 packages of the chicken nuggets with the Feb. 5, 2015 “best before” date could be contaminated. No other packages or products are believed to be affected, including Applegate’s gluten-free chicken nuggets or any other breaded chicken products, the company said. Consumers with the recalled chicken nuggets can return them to the store where they were purchased for a full refund, Applegate said.
It should be noted the USDA defines Class II recalls as “a potential health hazard situation in which there is a remote probability of adverse health consequences from eating the food.” The USDA in July released a final rule designed to overhaul poultry plant inspections. From reports, I am not sure anybody is satisfied with the new rule. The measure changes the lay of the land for poultry inspections.
Service inspectors would give up positions in the earlier stages of a chicken inspection line — handing over the job of looking for and sorting out chickens with quality defects to corporate employees — in order to focus on the end of the line. It will be interesting to see what happens to the new rule.
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