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American Company Recalls a Million Pounds of Cafeteria Chicken

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A company producing ready-to-eat chicken is recalling 933,272 pounds of its ostensibly schoolhouse cafeteria-bound product. That’s equal to 26.5 million McNuggets, based on prior Gizmodo calculations. That is so much chicken. 

Oklahoma City-based OK Foods, inc.* is recalling chicken produced from Dec 19, 2016 through Mar 7, 2017. This comes after five complaints brought a United States Department of Agriculture and an OK Foods internal investigation—the company found bits of metal in a long list of chicken products probably meant for kid’s school lunches.


At least, I suspect these products are meant for schools based on the fact that one of them is literally called “Smart Foods 4 Schools Shamrock Shaped Chicken Fingers.”

This might sound like a big recall, but there have been much larger ones. Pilgrim’s Pride recalled 27.5 million pounds of ready-to-eat chicken and turkey due to listeria contamination back in 2002, as reported by Bloomberg News (via the LA Times). Still, 26.5 million McNuggets is like, a meal for 4 million kids.


As for the source of the metal, the investigation found that it likely came from the conveyer belt the chicken was processed on. I guess that makes sense, but it also makes me wonder what kind of grody old conveyor belt they were using that was causing flecks of metal to peel off and get into the food.

Anyway, I reached out to OK Foods twice, but the operator hung up when I identified myself as a journalist both times. I will update the post if I hear back.

*The USDA press release lists the company as “OK Food,” but it seems they are actually referring to OK Foods. Will update if things change.

[USDA via Food Safety News]