The package label of Pilgrim's Pride Chicken Breast Nuggets

Meat producer Pilgrim's Pride recalled 4-pound bags of its fully cooked frozen Chicken Breast Nuggets because they may contain rubber pieces. At least one consumer reported finding rubber pieces in the nuggets, the company says.  No adverse reactions have been reported.

The nuggets were shipped to Grocer’s Supply in Texas, a grocery distributor, and WinCo stores in Idaho, Arizona, and Oregon. The packages are marked with a “best if used by” date of “06 May 2021” and Establishment Code “P-20728” on the package.

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Food Safety and Inspection Services at the U.S. Department of Agriculture “is concerned that some products may be in consumers’ freezers,” and has advised consumers to throw away the bags of frozen nuggets or return them to the retail store where purchased.  

To get a refund, Pilgrim’s Pride spokesperson Nikki Richardson says consumers should call the company’s customer service hotline at 800-321-1470 to confirm they have a recalled product and receive instructions on how to obtain a refund. 

That’s important to do, says James E. Rogers, Ph.D., director of food safety research and testing at Consumer Reports. Though just one bag of nuggets so far has been found to contain rubber, “the rubber pieces may be too small to be seen," he says, and they "could still cause issues when ingested.”

Food-grade rubber and plastic come into contact or in close contact with food every day, says Jonathan Campbell, Ph.D., an associate professor of animal science at Pennsylvania State University who focuses on meat production. But on occasion, “rubber gaskets and plastic moving parts fail, and if they do, it could allow the material to be incorporated into the finished product."

“Foreign material [in foods] is a great concern for any food company, especially if the material were large enough to be a choking hazard to consumers,” he adds.

The Details

Products recalled: 59,800 pounds of Pilgrim’s Pride fully cooked frozen chicken breast nuggets. The nuggets came in 4-pound bags, marked with a “best if used by” date of May 6, 2021, and an Establishment Code of P-20728. The products were distributed to retailers in Arizona, Idaho, Oregon, and Texas.

The problem: The nuggets may contain pieces of rubber.

The fix: The Department of Agriculture says consumers should throw out any of the recalled product, or return it to the point of purchase for a refund.

How to contact the manufacturer: Consumers with questions about the recall can call Ed Tyrrell, consumer relations manager for Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation, at 800-321-1470.