Time To Check Your Chicken For Metal Bits, Again

Another month, another meat recall related to tiny metal bits. Yesterday, the U.S. Department Of Agriculture's Food Safety And Inspection Service (FSIS) issued a recall notice for 2 million pounds of chicken products over concerns the meat could contain "extraneous materials, specifically metal." The chicken in question came from Arkansas-based Simmons Prepared Foods, Inc., and was produced between Oct. 21, 2019 through Nov. 4, 2019. The full list of recalled products includes ready-to-cook chicken wings, chicken breast, and more.

This latest recall comes on the heels of related incidents, including a May recall of 12 million pounds of Tyson products over similar metal contamination. Taco Bell's beef was also recalled last month, leading to brief shortages, because of metal bits.

Why all the metal bits? It's not because meat producers want to get more iron into your diet, but because increased automation of meat production—fewer people, more machines—makes it more likely that bits of those machines will break off and end up in your food. The USDA even issued new guidelines to producers in March designed to deal with an increasing number of recalls. So, check any Simmons brand chicken you might have on hand, and know that we'll probably report on another metal-related meat recall in another few months. See you then.