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Tyson Announces Removal of Antibiotics From its Chicken Hatcheries

Tyson Foods has announced that, as of Oct. 1, it no longer uses antibiotics in its 35 chicken hatcheries.

“Since the antibiotic typically used in hatcheries is important to human health, this is a significant first step toward our goal of reducing the use of antibiotics that are also used in human medicine,” the company stated.

Last month, Perdue announced that it made the same transition.

Tyson still uses antibiotics in chicken feed “when prescribed by a veterinarian to treat or prevent disease” and said that the “vast majority of the antibiotics” they use aren’t used in humans.

The company also said that it’s researching “alternative treatments and protocols that will eventually eliminate the application of any antibiotics used in human medicine from poultry feed.”

Tyson offers a completely antibiotic-free chicken under its NatureRaised Farms brand.

Steven Roach, senior analyst for Keep Antibiotics Working, said that the coalition is pleased about the change, but that there’s still room for improvement.

“Tyson’s position on using human class drugs for disease prevention is something we oppose and seems to be a step backward for Tyson. So kudos on the hatchery change, but they could do more on antibiotics in their chicken feed,” he said.

Food Safety News

Tyson recalls chicken nugget products

Tyson Foods announced Monday that it is voluntarily recalling 75,320 pounds of its frozen white meat chicken nuggets due to possible contamination.

Tyson Fully Cooked White Meat Nuggets were sold in 5-pound bags at Sam’s Club locations in the U.S. and Puerto Rico in late January and in February, said a press release issued by the Springdale, Ark., producer. Products sold in smaller bags or at any other retailer are not affected by the recall.


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Tyson said it was issuing the recall after receiving consumer reports of finding small pieces of plastic in the nuggets.

According to a press release from the USDA, there have been reports of minor oral injuries.

The recalled product has UPC codes 0-23700-02178-6 or 300-23700-02178-7, with item number 16142-928. The “best if used by” dates of Jan. 26, 2015, or Feb. 16, 2015.

The USDA said the plastic pieces have been traced to a product scraper inside a blending machine.



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Tyson Foods Recalls Chicken Nuggets for ‘Foreign Matter Contamination’

Tyson Foods Inc. of Sedalia, MO, is recalling approximately 75,320 pounds of frozen, fully cooked chicken nugget products that may be contaminated with extraneous materials, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced Friday.

The following products are subject to USDA recall:

  • 5-lb. bags of “Tyson Fully Cooked White Meat Chicken Nuggets – 16142-928” with a “Best if Used By” date of “Jan 26 2015” or Feb 16 2015.” The manufacturer codes “0264SDL0315 through 19” and “0474SDL0311 through 14” can also be found on the bags. These products were produced Jan. 26, 2014, or Feb. 16, 2014, and shipped nationwide to one retail warehouse club chain.
  • 20-lb. bulk packs of “Spare Time Fully Cooked Nugget-Shaped Chicken Breast Pattie Fritters w/Rib Meat – 16142-861” with identifying case codes of “0264SDL0315 through 19” and “0474SDL0311 through 14.” These products were produced Jan. 26 and Feb. 16, 2014, and were shipped for institutional use in Indiana and Arkansas.

The product bags bear the establishment number “P-13556.”

The problem was discovered after the firm received consumer complaints that small pieces of plastic were found in the products. The problem was traced to a product scraper inside a blending machine.

The company has received reports of minor oral injury associated with consumption of these products. FSIS has received no additional reports of injury or illness from consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about an injury or illness from consumption of these products should contact a healthcare provider.

FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify that recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers.

Consumers with questions about the recall should contact Tyson Foods Consumer Services toll-free at (866) 328-3156.

Food Safety News

Tyson Foods Recalls Chicken Nuggets for ‘Foreign Matter Contamination’

Tyson Foods Inc. of Sedalia, MO, is recalling approximately 75,320 pounds of frozen, fully cooked chicken nugget products that may be contaminated with extraneous materials, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced Friday.

The following products are subject to USDA recall:

  • 5-lb. bags of “Tyson Fully Cooked White Meat Chicken Nuggets – 16142-928” with a “Best if Used By” date of “Jan 26 2015” or Feb 16 2015.” The manufacturer codes “0264SDL0315 through 19” and “0474SDL0311 through 14” can also be found on the bags. These products were produced Jan. 26, 2014, or Feb. 16, 2014, and shipped nationwide to one retail warehouse club chain.
  • 20-lb. bulk packs of “Spare Time Fully Cooked Nugget-Shaped Chicken Breast Pattie Fritters w/Rib Meat – 16142-861” with identifying case codes of “0264SDL0315 through 19” and “0474SDL0311 through 14.” These products were produced Jan. 26 and Feb. 16, 2014, and were shipped for institutional use in Indiana and Arkansas.

The product bags bear the establishment number “P-13556.”

The problem was discovered after the firm received consumer complaints that small pieces of plastic were found in the products. The problem was traced to a product scraper inside a blending machine.

The company has received reports of minor oral injury associated with consumption of these products. FSIS has received no additional reports of injury or illness from consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about an injury or illness from consumption of these products should contact a healthcare provider.

FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify that recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers.

Consumers with questions about the recall should contact Tyson Foods Consumer Services toll-free at (866) 328-3156.

Food Safety News

Tyson Foods Recalls Chicken Nuggets for ‘Foreign Matter Contamination’

Tyson Foods Inc. of Sedalia, MO, is recalling approximately 75,320 pounds of frozen, fully cooked chicken nugget products that may be contaminated with extraneous materials, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced Friday.

The following products are subject to USDA recall:

  • 5-lb. bags of “Tyson Fully Cooked White Meat Chicken Nuggets – 16142-928” with a “Best if Used By” date of “Jan 26 2015” or Feb 16 2015.” The manufacturer codes “0264SDL0315 through 19” and “0474SDL0311 through 14” can also be found on the bags. These products were produced Jan. 26, 2014, or Feb. 16, 2014, and shipped nationwide to one retail warehouse club chain.
  • 20-lb. bulk packs of “Spare Time Fully Cooked Nugget-Shaped Chicken Breast Pattie Fritters w/Rib Meat – 16142-861” with identifying case codes of “0264SDL0315 through 19” and “0474SDL0311 through 14.” These products were produced Jan. 26 and Feb. 16, 2014, and were shipped for institutional use in Indiana and Arkansas.

The product bags bear the establishment number “P-13556.”

The problem was discovered after the firm received consumer complaints that small pieces of plastic were found in the products. The problem was traced to a product scraper inside a blending machine.

The company has received reports of minor oral injury associated with consumption of these products. FSIS has received no additional reports of injury or illness from consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about an injury or illness from consumption of these products should contact a healthcare provider.

FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify that recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers.

Consumers with questions about the recall should contact Tyson Foods Consumer Services toll-free at (866) 328-3156.

Food Safety News

Salmonella Chicken Recall: Tyson Yes, Foster Farms No, Why?

Here is the question that FSIS, Tyson and Foster Farms should answer:  Why does Tyson recall its product after seven sickened and Foster Farms recalls nothing after 550 sickened in two outbreaks?

According to the FSIS a food recall is a voluntary action by a manufacturer or distributor to protect the public from products that may cause health problems or possible death. A recall is intended to remove food products from commerce when there is reason to believe the products may be adulterated or misbranded.  The most serious type of a recall, a Class I recall, involves a health hazard situation in which there is a reasonable probability that eating the food will cause health problems or death.  The definition for “adulterated” is found in 9 CFR 301.2. Adulterated shall apply to any carcass, part thereof, meat or meat food product under one or more circumstances (for example: if it contains poisonous substances, pesticides, or chemicals; or if it has been prepared under insanitary conditions).

Tyson Salmonella Heidelberg Outbreak AND Recall

The FSIS was notified of a Salmonella Heidelberg cluster of illnesses on Dec. 12, 2013. Working in conjunction with the Tennessee Department of Health (TDH), FSIS determined that there is a link between the mechanically separated chicken products from Tyson Foods and the illness cluster in a Tennessee correctional facility. Based on epidemiological and traceback investigations, seven case-patients at the facility have been identified with illnesses, with two resulting in hospitalization. Illness onset dates range from Nov. 29, 2013 to Dec. 5, 2013. FSIS continues to work with TDH on this investigation and will provide updated information as it becomes available.

Tyson Foods, Inc. a Sedalia, Mo., establishment, is recalling approximately 33,840 pounds of mechanically separated chicken products that may be contaminated with a Salmonella Heidelberg strain, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

The mechanically separated chicken products were produced on Oct. 11, 2013. The following products are subject to recall: 40-lb. cases, containing four, 10-lb. chubs of “TYSON MECHANICALLY SEPARATED CHICKEN.” The products subject to recall bear the establishment number “P-13556” inside the USDA mark of inspection with case code 2843SDL1412 – 18. These products were shipped for institutional use only, nationwide. The product is not available for consumer purchase in retail stores.

Foster Farms Salmonella Heidelberg Outbreaks with NO Recalls

Outbreak No. 1:  In July 2013 a total of 134 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Heidelberg were reported from 13 states.  Collaborative investigative efforts of local, state, and federal public health and regulatory agencies indicated that Foster Farms brand chicken was the most likely source of this outbreak.

Testing conducted by the Washington State Public Health Laboratories identified the outbreak strain of Salmonella Heidelberg in four intact samples of chicken collected from three ill persons’ homes in Washington, which were traced back to two Foster Farms slaughter establishments.

Outbreak No 2:  In December 2013 a total of 416 persons infected with seven outbreak strains of Salmonella Heidelberg have been reported from 23 states and Puerto Rico.

Epidemiologic, laboratory, and traceback investigations conducted by local, state, and federal officials indicate that consumption of Foster Farms brand chicken is the likely source of this outbreak of Salmonella Heidelberg infections. On October 7, 2013, U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS) issued a Public Health Alert due to concerns that illness caused by Salmonella Heidelberg is associated with chicken products produced by Foster Farms at three facilities in California.

So, setting aside why FSIS does not consider Salmonella an adulterate and does not have the power to order a recall, why does Tyson recall its product after seven sickened and Foster Farms recalls nothing after 550 sickened in two outbreaks?

And, do not think this is an isolated event.

Although, FSIS threatened Foster Farms with taking its inspectors and going home, that did not happen.  FSIS has told us that Foster Farms is working on the problem now.  Apparently, these letters did the trick – Letters ONETWO and THREE that FSIS sent to Foster Farms two days ago.

I did a little searching on www.outbreakdatabase.com and found more that a few example of meat recalls – chicken and beef – due to Salmonella contamination.

Salmonella Enteriditis Due to Contaminated Cargill Ground Beef 2012

40 sick – On July 22, 2012 Cargill Meat Solutions announced a recall of 29,339 pounds of fresh ground beef products due to possible contamination with Salmonella Enteriditis. Using epidemiologic and traceback data public health investigators in 8 states …Read More »

Hannaford Hamburger Ground Beef 2011

20 sick – On December 16, Hannaford, a Scarborough, Maine-based grocery chain, recalled fresh ground beef products that may have been contaminated with a strain of Salmonella Typhimurium. The recall resulted from an investigation into human illness. By January…Read More »

Cargill Meat Solutions Ground Turkey 2011

136 sick – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) issued a public health alert, on July 29, due to concerns about illnesses caused by Salmonella Heidelberg that associated with the use and the consumption of ground turkey …Read More »

Beef Packers, Inc., Cargill, Ground Beef 2009

2 sick – In December, Beef Packers, Inc., owned by Cargill, recalled over 20,000 pounds of ground beef contaminated with a drug-resistant strain of Salmonella Newport. The company issued an earlier recall in August, 2009, due to contamination of ground beef …Read More »

Beef Packers, Inc., Cargill, Ground Beef 2009

68 sick – A Beef Packers, Inc. plant in California owned by Cargill, distributed approximately 830,000 pounds of ground beef that was likely contaminated with Salmonella Newport. The beef was shipped to distribution centers …Read More »

Emmpak/Cargill Ground Beef 2002

47 sick – In early 2002, isolates of Salmonella Newport in New York State were found to be resistant to more than nine antibiotics and had a decreased susceptibility to the antibiotic, ceftriaxone. Since 1996, an increasing number of Salmonella Newport …Read More »

It cannot be the numbers of sickened.  Frankly, Foster Farms in two outbreaks has sickened more that Cargill did in six.

One form or another of antibiotic-resistant Salmonella caused all of the above outbreaks.

Food Safety News

Salmonella Chicken Recall: Tyson Yes, Foster Farms No, Why?

TGF-FruitImageHere is the question that FSIS, Tyson and Foster Farms should answer:  Why does Tyson recall its product after seven sickened and Foster Farms recalls nothing after 550 sickened in two outbreaks?

According to the FSIS a food recall is a voluntary action by a manufacturer or distributor to protect the public from products that may cause health problems or possible death. A recall is intended to remove food products from commerce when there is reason to believe the products may be adulterated or misbranded.  The most serious type of a recall, a Class I recall, involves a health hazard situation in which there is a reasonable probability that eating the food will cause health problems or death.  The definition for “adulterated” is found in 9 CFR 301.2. Adulterated shall apply to any carcass, part thereof, meat or meat food product under one or more circumstances (for example: if it contains poisonous substances, pesticides, or chemicals; or if it has been prepared under insanitary conditions).

Tyson Salmonella Heidelberg Outbreak AND Recall

The FSIS was notified of a Salmonella Heidelberg cluster of illnesses on Dec. 12, 2013. Working in conjunction with the Tennessee Department of Health (TDH), FSIS determined that there is a link between the mechanically separated chicken products from Tyson Foods and the illness cluster in a Tennessee correctional facility. Based on epidemiological and traceback investigations, seven case-patients at the facility have been identified with illnesses, with two resulting in hospitalization. Illness onset dates range from Nov. 29, 2013 to Dec. 5, 2013. FSIS continues to work with TDH on this investigation and will provide updated information as it becomes available.

Tyson Foods, Inc. a Sedalia, Mo., establishment, is recalling approximately 33,840 pounds of mechanically separated chicken products that may be contaminated with a Salmonella Heidelberg strain, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

The mechanically separated chicken products were produced on Oct. 11, 2013. The following products are subject to recall: 40-lb. cases, containing four, 10-lb. chubs of “TYSON MECHANICALLY SEPARATED CHICKEN.” The products subject to recall bear the establishment number “P-13556” inside the USDA mark of inspection with case code 2843SDL1412 – 18. These products were shipped for institutional use only, nationwide. The product is not available for consumer purchase in retail stores.

Foster Farms Salmonella Heidelberg Outbreaks with NO Recalls

Outbreak No. 1:  In July 2013 a total of 134 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Heidelberg were reported from 13 states.  Collaborative investigative efforts of local, state, and federal public health and regulatory agencies indicated that Foster Farms brand chicken was the most likely source of this outbreak.

Testing conducted by the Washington State Public Health Laboratories identified the outbreak strain of Salmonella Heidelberg in four intact samples of chicken collected from three ill persons’ homes in Washington, which were traced back to two Foster Farms slaughter establishments.

Outbreak No 2:  In December 2013 a total of 416 persons infected with seven outbreak strains of Salmonella Heidelberg have been reported from 23 states and Puerto Rico.

Epidemiologic, laboratory, and traceback investigations conducted by local, state, and federal officials indicate that consumption of Foster Farms brand chicken is the likely source of this outbreak of Salmonella Heidelberg infections. On October 7, 2013, U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS) issued a Public Health Alert due to concerns that illness caused by Salmonella Heidelberg is associated with chicken products produced by Foster Farms at three facilities in California.

So, setting aside why FSIS does not consider Salmonella an adulterate and does not have the power to order a recall, why does Tyson recall its product after seven sickened and Foster Farms recalls nothing after 550 sickened in two outbreaks?

And, do not think this is an isolated event.

Although, FSIS threatened Foster Farms with taking its inspectors and going home, that did not happen.  FSIS has told us that Foster Farms is working on the problem now.  Apparently, these letters did the trick – Letters ONETWO and THREE that FSIS sent to Foster Farms two days ago.

I did a little searching on www.outbreakdatabase.com and found more that a few example of meat recalls – chicken and beef – due to Salmonella contamination.

Salmonella Enteriditis Due to Contaminated Cargill Ground Beef 2012

40 sick – On July 22, 2012 Cargill Meat Solutions announced a recall of 29,339 pounds of fresh ground beef products due to possible contamination with Salmonella Enteriditis. Using epidemiologic and traceback data public health investigators in 8 states …Read More »

Hannaford Hamburger Ground Beef 2011

20 sick – On December 16, Hannaford, a Scarborough, Maine-based grocery chain, recalled fresh ground beef products that may have been contaminated with a strain of Salmonella Typhimurium. The recall resulted from an investigation into human illness. By January…Read More »

Cargill Meat Solutions Ground Turkey 2011

136 sick – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) issued a public health alert, on July 29, due to concerns about illnesses caused by Salmonella Heidelberg that associated with the use and the consumption of ground turkey …Read More »

Beef Packers, Inc., Cargill, Ground Beef 2009

2 sick – In December, Beef Packers, Inc., owned by Cargill, recalled over 20,000 pounds of ground beef contaminated with a drug-resistant strain of Salmonella Newport. The company issued an earlier recall in August, 2009, due to contamination of ground beef …Read More »

Beef Packers, Inc., Cargill, Ground Beef 2009

68 sick – A Beef Packers, Inc. plant in California owned by Cargill, distributed approximately 830,000 pounds of ground beef that was likely contaminated with Salmonella Newport. The beef was shipped to distribution centers …Read More »

Emmpak/Cargill Ground Beef 2002

47 sick – In early 2002, isolates of Salmonella Newport in New York State were found to be resistant to more than nine antibiotics and had a decreased susceptibility to the antibiotic, ceftriaxone. Since 1996, an increasing number of Salmonella Newport …Read More »

It cannot be the numbers of sickened.  Frankly, Foster Farms in two outbreaks has sickened more that Cargill did in six.

One form or another of antibiotic-resistant Salmonella caused all of the above outbreaks.

Food Safety News

Tyson Recalls Mechanically Separated Chicken in Salmonella Outbreak

Tyson Foods is recalling 33,840 pounds of mechanically separated chicken products that may be contaminated with Salmonella Heidelberg, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service.

The chicken is facing recall after being connected to Salmonella illnesses at a Tennessee correctional facility where the chicken was served. Seven patients have been identified with Salmonella infection, including two who have required hospitalization.

The chicken was produced on Oct. 11, 2013 and packaged in 40-pound cases containing four 10-pound chubs of “TYSON MECHANICALLY SEPARATED CHICKEN.”

The recalled products bear the establishment number “P-13556″ inside the USDA mark of inspection, with a case code of 2843SDL1412 – 18.

The recalled products were only shipped “for institutional use” nationwide and are not available for consumers to purchase at retail.

Food Safety News

Smithfield, Tyson Encouraging Transition Away From Gestation Crates

Major pork producers Smithfield Foods and Tyson Foods have both announced plans this week to develop animal welfare improvements within their facilities, including moving away from the practice of using sow gestation crates, small metal enclosures that hold pregnant female pigs for most of their adult lives.

Gestation crates have come under heavy criticism as inhumane for their use in large-scale animal farming, with the Humane Society of the United States leading efforts to have the practice discontinued.

Smithfield’s announcement put in place incentives for contract pork growers to shift to “group housing systems” for pregnant sows before 2022. After that, the company will only renew contracts with growers who have switched to the new system.

According to the announcement, the company has already transitioned 54 percent of sows on company-owned farms to the new system.

The Humane Society praised Smithfield’s move, saying that it put pressure on other major growers to do the same.

“The top producer is telling the world that a transition away from gestation crates is not just an aspiration, but is in the works, is economically viable, and is likely to be achieved in the near term. And we continue to help major food retailers commit to switching their purchasing to crate-free producers,” wrote Humane Society CEO Wayne Pacelle.

Tyson, in a letter to its pork suppliers sent Wednesday, said that it was asking all suppliers to improve “quality and quantity of space” for sows in any new or redesigned barns beginning in 2014.

“We believe future sow housing should allow sows of all sizes to stand, turn around, lie down and stretch their legs,” Tyson wrote.

The language of Tyson’s letter, however, does not mandate any such changes.

Tyson’s letter also urged growers to install video surveillance systems to “improve human behavior and animal handling,” alluding to incidences of animal abuse. The letter also discourages the continued use of blunt force to kill sick or injured piglets, referring to the practice of slamming piglets head-first into the ground.

“We recognize that this practice has been historically acceptable in the industry but may not match the expectations of today’s customers or consumers,” Tyson wrote.

Animal rights group Mercy for Animals said that Tyson’s move was in the right direction, but urged the company to fully mandate its suggestions.

“The pork industry’s use of gestation crates is one of the worst forms of institutionalized animal abuse in existence and we praise Tyson for acknowledging that this cruel system must be phased out,” the organization wrote.

More than 60 major food companies, including McDonald’s, Burger King, Safeway and Costco have demanded pork suppliers phase out gestation crates. Another major supplier, Cargill, has said it has gotten rid of 50 percent of its crates.

Gestation crates are banned in Arizona, California, Florida and Rhode Island, and five other states are requiring growers to phase them out. They are also banned in Sweden, Denmark and the United Kingdom, and will be banned in New Zealand by 2015 and Australia by 2017.

Food Safety News