Because a Missouri chicken processor, VU Foods, LLC, produced some breaded chicken products without inspection, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) asked them to issue a voluntary recall. The company refused, claiming there was no reason to consider them dangerous to consumers, so the FSIS has made the decision to issue a public health alert for the chicken, anyway.
The problem was first discovered by Missouri state health officials, who became suspicious and asked police to help them enter a VU Foods warehouse, where they saw products being produced without benefit of inspection. State officials then notified FSIS of the situation on July 15; the same day the state began to detain the uninspected breaded chicken products. Two days later, on July 17, the FSIS began to detain additional products. They then handed the company a Notice of Suspension, and the agency continues to detain the product in question. FSIS is also working with distribution centers on trace forward operations in an attempt to retrieve the product from their restaurant customers.
According to the public health alert, the affected products contain the establishment number “P-45038,” which is located either inside the USDA mark of inspection or on the label itself. In some cases, labels state that the products were distributed by Tact Foodservice or US Foods. The specific products covered include:
- Select Cut – Cubed Chicken Breast Meat, with product codes 10800 or 10810;
- Pre-Battered Chicken Tender with product code 80022;
- Chicken Dark Meat Nuggets with product code 20505;
- Cubed Chicken Breast Meat with product code 10500;
- Boneless All Natural Chicken Breast Nuggets with product code: 8550;
- KIKKA Boneless All Natural Chicken Breast Nuggets which are, packed exclusively for KIKKA Restaurants
To date, FSIS claims they have received no reports of illness related to these products, but they do warn anyone who may be concerned about an illness should call a health care provider. The agency says their investigation is ongoing and could possibly expand if they find new evidence, and they are prepared to take additional actions that they deem appropriate.
The chicken is having enough problems, without companies popping up and doing things like avoiding inspection. Companies that operate like this should have to pay for their negligence. If you or a loved one have contracted a Salmonella infection and become ill or died as a result, please contact the Foodborne Illness Safety Lawyer at Hill Law Firm to protect your rights.