Foster Poultry Farms recalled more than 65 tons of frozen chicken patties shipped to Western states, after consumers complained of finding plastic in their food. The patties were distributed to some Costco depots in Washington, Alaska, Arizona, California and Utah.
Foster Poultry Farms is recalling frozen cooked chicken patties that may be contaminated with plastic and were shipped to several Western states, including Washington, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
The company is recalling more than 65 tons of patties that were produced Feb. 15, 2017. They are sold in 5-pound bags containing 20 pieces of “Foster Farms Breaded Chicken Breast Patties with Rib Meat.”
The products carry the identifier “P-33901” inside the USDA mark of inspection and “Best By” date of 2/15/18.
The recall was announced Thursday evening after the company received three consumer complaints, on March 22, April 3 and April 15, reporting pieces of clear, soft plastic in chicken patties.
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The plastic came from packaging materials, according to the USDA announcement. The foreign material presents a “low” health risk, the USDA said.
The agency urged consumers who bought the patties to throw them away or return them to the place of purchase.
A statement by the company said the patties were distributed to some Costco depots in Washington, Alaska, Arizona, California and Utah. “No other retailers are involved,” according to the company.
Foster said it traced the problem to one production line in Farmerville, Louisiana. “Procedures were promptly reviewed with employees to prevent reoccurrence,” according to the company’s statement, which also said, “Food safety is, and has always been, our top priority.”
It’s not the first recall by Foster. Last year the company recalled 220,450 pounds of cooked frozen chicken nuggets that may have been contaminated with blue plastic and black rubber, according to a USDA announcement on April 29, 2016. The health risk of those products was labeled “high,” the USDA said.
Those products were also shipped to Washington and other Western states.
In 2014, Foster recalled fresh and frozen chicken products suspected of possible Salmonella contamination.
That outbreak of the Salmonella Heidelberg strain infected 634 people from 29 states and Puerto Rico, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Most people fell ill in California. Washington reported 20 cases of infection. No deaths were reported, but 38 percent of those infected were hospitalized, the CDC said.
The latest recalled products do not pose the same kind of health threat as the Salmonella-tainted products, said Bill Marler, a Seattle attorney specializing in foodborne-illness cases. But it “does show a lack of oversight,” Marler said.
Foster’s statement said consumers can contact the company’s hotline at 800-338-8051 for more information.
“Foster Farms maintains a Food Safety Advisory Board comprising leading national food safety experts to validate best practices, evaluate emerging technologies and to help guide the company’s food safety systems for fresh and frozen products on an ongoing basis,” according to the company statement.