OK Foods Inc. has issued a recall for approximately 933,272 pounds of ready-to-eat chicken products that may have been contaminated with metal.
The recall comes after the Oklahoma-based company received five complaints from consumers who said they discovered metal objects in the chicken. The metal was also found by representatives of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service during quality control checks.
The USDA reports that an internal investigation determined that the contamination came from metal conveyor belts.
The affected products were produced between Dec. 19, 2016, and March 7, 2017, and were shipped to stores across the country, including Wal-Marts. They all have the code "P-7092" stamped inside the USDA mark of inspection.
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The recall has been categorized as Class I, which USDA defines as follows: "This is a health hazard situation where there is a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death."
While there have not been any confirmed reports of people becoming sick from eating the chicken, those who purchased the recalled bags are urged to throw them away or return them to the store. Anyone who has the products should not eat them.
The chicken in question is sold under the following brand names: Smart Foods4Schools, Chickentopia, Double D Foods, Great Value (a Wal-Mart brand), TenderBird, Farmington, Lake Liner Logo Brand and Spring River Farms.
Products that have been recalled include various breaded chicken products, including nuggets of various shapes, chicken patties, chicken fries and chicken fillet fritters. Nugget shapes being recalled include hearts, stars, shamrocks, numerals, letters and sharks.
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The products were shipped throughout the U.S.
OK Foods has a statement on its website about food safety:
Food safety is vital to delivering quality chicken products to our customers around the world. All OK Foods facilities are regularly inspected by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). And, as a full-integrated poultry processor, we have implemented food safety auditing programs across all operations to ensure our products meet and exceed food safety standards.
Anyone with questions about the recall should contact Abby Brown at 479-312-2409. Consumers can also consult FSIS's virtual representative at AskKaren.gov. "Ask Karen" is available 24 hours a day.
In April 2016, Pilgrim's Pride recalled 4.5 million pounds of chicken products, which were also contaminated with "extraneous materials," CNN reported. Those chicken products also included breaded chicken patties and chicken nuggets. The materials found in those products reportedly included plastic, wood, metal and rubber.