March 22, 2019 / 11:56 AM / a month ago

Tyson recalls tons of chicken strips for possible metal contamination

(This March 22 story corrects to remove reference to Smithfield Foods in paragraph 7)

(Reuters) - Tyson Foods is recalling some 69,000 pounds of frozen, ready-to-eat chicken strips that may have been contaminated with metal, the top U.S. meat processor said on Friday, marking its second recall this year.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) said here late Thursday it had received two consumer complaints of extraneous material in Tyson's chicken strips and that there were no reports of illnesses.

Tyson is recalling all its fully cooked buffalo-style chicken strip fritters, crispy chicken strips and chicken breast strip fritters, which have a use-before date of Nov. 30, 2019.

The move follows Tyson’s recall in January of 18 tons of “White Meat Panko” chicken nuggets for possible rubber contamination.

The nuggets recalled earlier and the chicken strips being recalled this week were made at two separate facilities in Arkansas and Missouri, according to Tyson and the FSIS.

“We continue to investigate this matter but currently believe it’s an isolated incident,” Tyson spokesman Gary Mickelson said.

The move also follows a slew of recalls by big chicken producers including Perdue Foods and Pilgrim’s Pride Corp.

The USDA has been looking for ways to limit the number of such recalls, and is advising food companies to start internal investigations when they receive customer complaints and prioritize faster response time for recalls.

Consumer advocates say increasing automation in meat processing plants is causing more machine parts to break off and contaminate food.

Reporting by Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru; Editing by Sai Sachin Ravikumar

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