Gold’n Plump Worker Charged With Feeding Sand & Soil To Chickens

Nearly a year after Minnesota-based Gold’n Plump (GNP) recalled more than 55,000-pounds of chicken when sand and black soil was mysteriously found on the products, a former plant worker faces two felony charges for the incident.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that the 36-year-old former factory worker was charged with two counts of first-degree damage to property in excess of $202,000 stemming from the June 2016 incident.

According to Cold Spring, MN, police and the FBI, the contamination of 55,608 pounds of Gold’n Plump and Just Bare chicken occurred in the early morning hours of June 7 and June 8.

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

An investigation by authorities found surveillance video of the woman on the processing floor near where other contaminated chicken was found. The video allegedly shows the woman removing her gloves and protective plastic sleeves before feeling in her pocket and touching the bags in which the chicken was placed.

The woman was the last employee seen on the processing floor at the end of the night shift.

Authorities say they later found her plastic gloves contained the same gritty substance that was on the chickens, the Star Tribune reports.

The woman eventually admitted that she had placed dirt and sand from the company’s parking lot into little baggies and held them in her pocket.

According to the Stearns County Courthouse, the woman was charged Jan. 27 and will appear in court on April 3.

Update: In a statement to Consumerist, a rep for GNP says “The recall ONLY affected one Just BARE retail item and also bulk and custom items sold through foodservice and institutional outlets with a use-by/freeze-by date of 6/26/16.” The rep adds that the recall does not affect any products currently in distribution.

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