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Nearly 70,000 pounds of chicken nuggets recalled because there’s wood in them

Published Jan 22nd, 2019 5:33PM EST
chicken nugget recall

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Food recalls are nothing new, and there’s plenty of reasons that a company might need to issue a recall of a consumable product. Sometimes food is contaminated during manufacturing or contains traces of another food product that could trigger allergies in unsuspecting consumers, but a recent recall of chicken nuggets comes with a bizarre twist.

According to the USDA, Perdue Foods LLC is issuing a prompt recall of nearly 70,000 pounds of ready-to-eat chicken nuggets because the company fears there’s wood — yes, wood — in them. Somehow, that might not even be the most surprising thing about this story.

The official recall doesn’t really tell us how exactly wood would have gotten into a bunch of tasty (and gluten free!) chicken nuggets, stating simply that the food “may be contaminated with extraneous materials, specifically wood.” We’re left to imagine a scenario by which wood was mixed in with the chicken during processing.

Interestingly, while the USDA labels the recall with a health risk of “High,” the bulletin also notes that nobody has actually been made sick by the woody nuggets. The company received a total of three consumer complaints, leading them to issue the recall, but the USDA notes that there are zero “confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products.”

Eating wood is obviously something you shouldn’t make a habit of, and it can’t possibly be good for your digestive system, but whatever traces of wood are present in these chicken nuggets doesn’t seem to be causing anyone discomfort. That is, not yet.

You can identify the recalled product by its packaging:

22-oz. plastic bag packages of frozen “PERDUE SimplySmart ORGANICS BREADED CHICKEN BREAST NUGGETS GLUTEN FREE” with “Best By: Date 10/25/19” and UPC Bar Code “72745-80656” represented on the label.

“[The USDA] is concerned that some product may be frozen and in consumers’ freezers,” the agency writes in the bulletin. “Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.”