The five-pound bag of Foster Farms frozen breaded chicken breast patties declares the food is “100% natural.”
As that doesn’t include the plastic three consumers reported finding in the patties, Foster Poultry Farms recalled about 131,880 pounds of the product, according to Thursday’s recall notice.
In doing so, Foster Farms’ chicken breasts, distributed mainly up and down the Pacific coast of the United States, joins a group of companies that recently recalled foods that might include non-foods:
▪ McCain Foods recalled one production run of Harris Teeter and Rouldy’s frozen Southern Style Hash Browns on April 21 when golf ball parts were found in one brand, then expanded the recall Wednesday to include a production run of Wegman’s O’Brien Hash Browns after two more complaints of golf ball parts.
▪ Uncle John’s Pride out of Tampa recalled 139,909 pounds of ready-to-eat sausage Monday when metal magnet was found in the beef trim of the source product.
▪ Fresh Express recalled some cases of Organic Marketside Spring Mix on April 8 when some folks in Jacksonville found a dead bat in the bagged salad.
▪ Ajinomoto Windsor recalled 35,168 pounds of Jose Ole frozen beef taquitos on March 24 after two complaints of rubber with white plastic from the processing equipment.
▪ OK Foods recalled approximately 933,272 pounds of breaded chicken on March 23 after parts of the metal conveyor belt got into the food.
In an e-mail to the Herald, food safety attorney Bill Marler acknowledged there does seem to be a run of “extraneous materials” and “foreign contamination” lately, but “although they are gross and newsworthy, there is unlikely a direct food safety risk.
“It does, however, show a lack of attention to detail that in a large production facility should raise red flags.”
USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service Public Affairs Specialist Nina Anand said in an e-mail the USDA addresses this issue with food producers, but much is left up to the companies to follow USDA guidelines and suggestions.
“FSIS suggests that establishments develop a written program to capture procedures for assessing and handling all foreign material contamination events, including how consumer complaints are tracked, supported, and resolved,” Anand wrote. “We also recommend that establishments inform FSIS that an event investigation is underway, especially if potentially food-safety related.”