On September 24th, the US Department of Agriculture issued a recall for “approximately 554,090 pounds of poultry products” produced by Sanderson Farms, the third-largest poultry producer in the country. The affected products include boneless skinless breasts, tenderloins, and breasts with rib meat. Why the recall, which qualifies as one of the largest poultry recalls this year? Not salmonella …. but metal.
According to the USDA, the poultry was found to be “contaminated with extraneous metal materials,” an ominous and bizarre statement if ever there was one. (Are there any non-extraneous metal materials that can be found in a boneless skinless chicken breast?) Apparently the shavings come from a malfunctioning ice-making machine used during packaging to keep the chicken at a low temperature.
There have been no injuries as yet reported due to the metal-shavings-spiced chicken, but the USDA warns all consumers to throw away any possibly contaminated products. If you want to check your Sanderson chicken to see if it might be affected, look at the USDA seal on the package. If it’s marked “EST. P-247,” chuck it or bring it back to wherever you bought it. Don’t eat it! Unless you’re a very specific kind of robot that needs to eat metal shavings and is not adversely affected by carbon-based matter like raw chicken.