Just months after announcing it would phase out human antibiotics from its chicken by 2017, Tyson is now working to eliminate something else: plastic. The company is recalling approximately 132,520 pounds of frozen nuggets after some consumers found them to contain pieces of hard plastic, according to CNN.
According to a recall notice issued by the USDA on Tuesday, the problem was discovered when the company received consumer complaints regarding foreign material in the nuggets. That foreign material was plastic, which ranged in size and may have come from a piece of broken machinery in the processing plant.
The nuggets apparently make their way through a metal detector before being boxed up, but that technology cannot detect plastic or other foreign matter. The recall extends to five-pound bags of Tyson’s Fully Cooked Panko Chicken Nuggets that were purchased at Costco locations nationwide and 20-pound cases of Spare Time brand packages sold to a single wholesaler in Pennsylvania.
Eating plastic is, of course, not a good idea — hence the recall — but the USDA says no one has gotten sick from eating the plastic-infused nuggets — yet.
Tyson has been mired in a number of controversies in recent years. In May, Oxfam America published a report alleging horrifying working conditions at the plants of some Tyson contractors. Employees at plants throughout the country reported that they were not permitted to leave the processing line to use the bathroom, leading many to wear diapers at work to deal with the problem. Last year, a Tennessee-based contractor of Tyson’s was dropped as a McDonald’s supplier when video was released of workers torturing animals.
The company has, however, followed a trend set by chains like Chipotle and McDonald’s in announcing it would eliminate human antibiotics from its chickens by September 2017. It currently does not plan to follow suit with its other meats (like beef and pork), but is said to be exploring those options.