Whole Foods Chicken Salad Recalled Because It’s Actually Tuna

A fowl foul led to a bait and switch at Whole Foods.

Mike Mozart on Flickr

Perhaps the manufacturers just had a Jessica Simpson-esque moment in which they confused tuna, the "chicken of the sea," with actual chicken, but the result was the recall of 440 pounds of Whole Foods private label chicken salad that actually contained fish.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, about 440 pounds of Whole Foods private label 12.5 oz. plastic containers of buffalo-style chicken salad has been recalled because it had no actual chicken—it was tuna. (Buffalo, let it be made clear, just refers to the style.) The product was made by Willow Tree Poultry Farm, a Massachusetts-based company that’s been around for more than 60 years that also  happens to make tuna salad products. And therein lies the issue: the chicken salad labels were accidentally switched for the tuna salad ones.

The fishy situation was discovered by an eagle-eyed Whole Foods employee when they were unpacking the product (We’re going to try to refrain from any more fish or chicken puns, but it will be very, very hard not to slip any others into this story).

There’s something fishy about this chicken salad. photo: USDA

Since tuna is considered an allergen and the label doesn’t say it contains fish, the company voluntarily recalled the packages. The buffalo-style chicken products were produced on June 27 and have a sell-by date of July 13. They were distributed to around 35 Whole Foods in Western Connecticut, New Jersey and New York. There are no reports of anyone suffering any ill effects from consuming the product and no other Willow Tree products are affected by the recall. Consumers with questions can contact Alex Cekala, Willow Tree Poultry Farm’s general manager at (508) 951-8351.

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So now when Ms. Simpson asks that eternal question: “is this chicken I have, or is it fish?” she’ll be in good company. Sorry, readers, when the fruit (errr…fish, chicken?) is hanging this low, it’s impossible to resist.


Whole Foods Chicken Salad Recalled Because It’s Actually Tuna