More Than 55K Pounds Of Chicken Recalled, Because Soil And Sand Aren’t Tasty

Image courtesy of Chris Goldberg

The last thing you want to see when preparing your chicken for the grill is to find it covered in sand or soil, but that has apparently been the case for several chicken products from producer Gold’n Plump, leading the company to recall 55,608 pounds of chicken products that may be contaminated with extraneous materials. 

Minnesota-based Gold’n Plump (GNP) announced the recall of Gold’n Plump and Just Bare branded chicken over the weekend after sand and black soil were mysteriously found in some products.

“Our own inspections turned it up,” a spokesperson for the company said, adding, “and two food service customers called and told us they found the same material.”

According to a notice posted with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the recalled products were produced on various dates from June 6 to June 9, 2016.

GNP says the source of the contamination is currently under investigation by the GNP and law enforcement, but that in-house tampering, by a now former employee, is being blamed for the issue.

The company said on Sunday that the soil and sand has so far been linked to “an isolated product tampering incident that occurred at the company’s Cold Spring processing plant the week of June 6.”

The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has categorized the issue as “high,” the most serious level applied to recalls.

GNP says a third-party lab “verified the foreign matter to be benign, natural materials. … However, because the company cannot say with 100% certainty that the product is safe for consumption,” the recall was required.

“Safety is GNP Company’s number one core value and its first priority — for its people and its products. The company is working to collect all recalled products and remove them from commerce,” the company said.

While the recall covers several different kinds of chicken, only one was sold at retailers. The rest are bulk and custom items sold through foodservice and institutional outlets.

The one retail item being recalled is Just BARE Whole Chicken (UPC 024105594057), sold in 4-pound poly-bags, with a use-by/freeze-by date stamp of 6/26/16.

Consumers who have purchased this item are urged not to use or consume it. These products should be disposed of or returned to the store where purchased for a refund.

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