After receiving three consumer complaints of wood contamination, Perdue Foods is recalling its gluten-free chicken nuggets, CNN reports. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service said that the ready-to-eat chicken nuggets were produced on Oct. 25, 2018, and shipped nationwide. Federal health officials said in a statement that there have been no confirmed reports of injury or illness from eating the chicken nuggets.
"The problem was discovered when the firm received three consumer complaints that wood was found in the product," the Food Safety and Inspection Service said in a statement. Federal health officials said the gluten-free chicken nuggets come in 22-ounce plastic bags and are called “Perdue SimplySmart Breaded Chicken Breast Nuggets Gluten Free.” The best buy date is Oct. 25, 2019, Federal Officials said, and the UPC bar code is 72745-80656.
“After a thorough investigation, we strongly believe this to be an isolated incident, as only a minimal amount of these packages has the potential to contain pieces of wood,” Jeff Shaw, Perdue’s vice president for quality assurance, said in a statement. "There have been no reports of injury associated with this product," the statement also says.
But if you already have a package of these chicken nuggets in your freezer, federal health officials say not to take a chance on eating them. The Food Safety and Inspection Service said the best thing you can do is either throw them out or take them back to where you bought them. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) says the reason most food is recalled is out of caution, but that doesn’t mean you should risk eating recalled food — after all, there is some risk of getting sick or hurt from eating the food.
This is particularly important if a recall is due to a bacterial or viral contamination. In those cases, HHS recommends that you don’t even open the package to try to determine if your food is contaminated. Most of the time, HHS says you’re not going to be able to see, smell, or taste whether your food is contaminated. If you do happen to handle contaminated food or product, HHS recommends you wash your hands really well with warm water and soap. If the contaminated food product has touched any surfaces in your kitchen, like your sink or countertops, you should also sanitize those surfaces to avoid contaminating any other foods or cooking utensils, according to Cooking Light.
Last year’s romaine lettuce recalls gave the country a bit of can we/can’t we relationship with leafy greens, which might make you a little more interested in keeping up with food recalls in general. If that’s the case, there are a few ways you can learn about food recalls without waiting for them to hit the news. The USDA has a list of all the current food recalls on its website, where you can also sign up for email notifications for recalls and other health alerts. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also has a list of food products with reported contaminations, also with an option to sign up for email alerts. You can also report a problem with food, including food you bought at a store, pet food, and food you ate a restaurant.
If you’ve already eaten Perdue’s gluten-free chicken nuggets and are concerned you might’ve become sick or injured after eating them, federal health officials recommend seeing your doctor. Otherwise, consider playing it safe by chucking your bag in the trash if you’ve got one sitting in the freezer.