Header graphic for print

Food Safety News

Breaking news for everyone's consumption

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 (FSIS).

The products are being recalled 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 outlets.

The FSIS defines mechanically separated poultry as a paste-like and batter-like poultry product produced by forcing bones with attached edible tissue through a sieve or similar device under high pressure to separate bone from the edible tissue. Mechanically separated poultry has been used in poultry products since 1969. In 1995, a final rule on mechanically separated poultry said it would be used without restrictions. However, it must be labeled as “mechanically separated chicken or mechanically separated turkey” (depending on the kind of poultry used) in the ingredients statement. The final rule became effective November 4, 1996.

© Food Safety News
  • John Munsell

    Hey, now wait a minute! Shouldn’t the Tennessee correctional facility be responsible for the presence of the Salmonella Heidelberg? They are the ones who served the bacteria in food, their cooks are the ones who made their consumers sick. John Munsell

    • Seb

      How in gods name can a facility that buys a product be held responsible for the presence of Salmonella??? They didn’t add the bacteria to the served food….. Duh!

    • diogo

      They forget the usual ammonia treatment:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=twOj0XNCyaY

    • wscp

      Hey, shouldn’t John Munsell be responsible for the presence of the Salmonella Heidelberg? John Munsell should have pointed out that the cooks are serving food with bacteria before hand, but he only decided to call it out afterwards. John Munsell is the one who made the victims sick.

  • Oginikwe

    WTH is that pink crap in the picture? The stuff that looks like soft peppermint ice cream?

    If that’s mechanically separated chicken, it belongs in the landfill. I wouldn’t allow that in the house much less on our property. Eww! Eww! EWW!

    • Royal10

      The pink crap is actually what happens to chicken from “mechanical separation”; totally gross-out stuff. http://gizmodo.com/5654066/chicken-nuggets-are-made-from-this-pink-chicken-goop tells the story. After I saw that picture years back, never to eat another nugget from ANYONE again. MCD was bad enough from the “chicken mcnoggin” scandal but at least their crap still resembled the bird killed for supper!

    • violetblue

      That’s processed meat. It’s basically all of the crappiest parts of the animal ground up, mixed with fillers and Fake Flavors ™, then they pump it into moulds to create whatever shape…and VOILA…you’ve got your cheap packaged Safeway food ready to go. Do a search on how hot dogs are made, it looks exactly the same. Yum yum. American Industrialized Food 4tw!!

    • Jo

      That’s what “chicken” nuggets are made out of

    • ak47

      The pink stuff is the meat. It is created through a process of pouring ammonia on meat cartilage, if I remember correctly. The result of the process is this pink stuff. It is what McDonald’s hamburgers are made out of, enjoy! Check out the video below or google Mc Donald’s Pink Slime.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dCqKl4Q3hW4

      • Marcello De Albuquerque Maranh

        Prove it. That pink gore so far is one of the most (in)famous web urban legend . Ppl talk a lot, create new fears and anxieties. Nothing new.

        • WhatTHEcluck

          All processed meats are made this way and have been for hundreds of years. It’s the basis for creating sausage and hot dogs. A recent study (do a google search it’s not hard to find) has shown that processed chicken nuggets contain only 50% or LESS chicken meat, the rest is skin, fat, cartilage, vessels, and organs. Did you think hotdogs are a cut right off the animal? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2NzUm7UEEIY

          • dcase20

            hundreds of years? Hahahahahaha

          • bfoster68

            hundreds of years? lol

          • Greg Kett

            You lost all credibility after “hundreds of years”

    • Jacqueline

      McDonald’s Chicken Nuggets!!! Absolutely delish right!? =/

    • Meatisgood

      This picture is a fraud. The picture was used to depict the Beef industry “Pink Slime” scare and has nothing to do with the Beef or Poultry industries. It’s source has never been confirmed but it has been confirmed that it is not a meat product that is or has been processed in the U.S..
      ABC is in the process of being sued currently for using this and other misleading photos in their reporting. Educate yourself and check sources before you blindly believe what the media and others put out based on their specific agenda.
      FYI, these food processors do not pour Ammonia of the meat they use ammonium gas to kill any bacteria, just like the vegetable and cheese producers do to safely extend the shelf life of these products. Every time you open a bag of shredded cheese you are releasing the ammonium gas from the bag and the food is immediately unable to stop bacteria and mold from growing. If this gas was not used there would be like a two to three day shelf life for these products and you would see much more rotten food wastefully thrown away. This gas is found in the air you breath every day and is harmless to humans, unless you breath in large amounts just like carbon dioxide. It is a very natural preservative.

      • Oginikwe

        Thanks for that information.
        I’ll stop buying shredded cheese, buy real cheese and shred my own.

    • Johnesch

      It looks like a really well skinned “Python”, which is delicious by the way.

      Hehe. Take that! American Imperialists !

      I Love pushing buttons !

    • Theresa Franklin

      I don’t know…. but it’s disgusting!

    • HENRY

      THAT IS MDM.

  • Danish

    John, there is a program called traceability..

  • Jessica ford

    So my Tyson chicken nuggets have the same code on them, are they ok to eat or should I take them back to SAMs club

  • joeyhendrickson

    I thank God everyday that my girlfriend cooks real food for me.

  • Greenlake1

    Who needs salmonella when a picture like this should produce instant nausea in any thinking person. I remember about 20 years ago when I first saw some chicken sausage being sold. I thought the idea of ground poultry was disgusting. Eat your chicken whole, or at least in identifiable parts!

  • Diana Ross

    So sad and sickening. All those chickens tortured first only to have their flesh thrown away.

  • http://www.sportshounds.net/ Brandon Houser

    This a good reason why it’s not a good idea to get locked up

  • Anonymous

    I wouldn’t eat that chicken for anything. They sell that in your
    chickent nuggets at mcdonalds it is all the crap lard and fat guts part
    of the chicken, and when it goes thru the chemical process, that is what
    you are eating. It is discusting. These people, like Monsanto, and
    people like this don’t care if they poison you, they just want your
    money. You are better off having your own chickens, or buying an
    organic chicken, that is not induced with harmones or chemicals.
    ABSOLUTELY DISCUSTING.

  • BackTracer

    That substance is known as Soylent Pink.

    • c.heston

      It’s people!

    • Fred

      You should check out the movie (very old – ealry seventies I think) called Soylent Green. Great ending and along the lines of what you’re all seeking/discussing here.

  • Flotti

    This isn’t humane food

  • Helmut

    It looks like Musk sticks or something. Can be chicken… where are the feathers?

  • Chris Revers

    really who cares its a prison feed them dog shit let them die

  • LeOn

    I agree with Oginikwe, it looks disgusting.. I thought it was a large pink boa constrictor.. Or strawberry taffy..
    Either way it looks absolutely gross. It must be the cloned meat. That one of the comedians was referencing.

    The bad part is that they are feeding it to inmates. I dont know whether to be happy or upset about that.

    Happy- that its not in the market where everyday people buy there food. (hopefully)

    Upset- That they are feeding it to humans period.

    But who is to say that its not already in some shape or form being issued in restaurants, McDonald’s, Fast food chains, school cafeterias, etc..

    • John Baptiste

      Guess again. That’s not just being fed to inmates.

  • rdobbertin

    and this is why I’m Vegan

  • Dan Gerous

    Its fed to your inmates. Do you really care? You do the crime, you eat the pink slime.

  • Matt
  • ivan

    For this and many other reasons, is why my family and I stopped eating fast food 2 years ago.
    My 5 year old twin girls attended a party at McD’s the other week and ended up crying because of how bad the food tasted. They only had a bite each!!

  • barrynau

    Read the first ingredient in Slim Jims

  • rsmith

    Don’t eat chicken and you can avoid getting sick. So simple.

    • durrburrt

      Seriously? You better read more of the Food Safety news…. July 7 2012 – Romaine lettuce recalled in NV and CA for Salmonella. Salmonella is not unique to chicken or meat products alone.

  • Emily Journey

    For about a decade I have refused to purchase Tyson chicken since I learned of their inhumane treatment of animals which correlates to salmonella and disease. bleh!

  • Arye Michael Bender

    Cruelty and pink slime. We are poisoning ourselves with a vengeance.

  • Chris Penman

    is it bad that i laughed when i saw that?

    couldn’t remember semolina from my school days tasting like chicken then i read it again…. obviously shocking and yet if you eat that pink shit what do you expect really? cummon! it even states that it’s not available to consumer so basically this was animal feed that someone decided to feed to their kids?

  • lazlodelarental

    The factory workers add that nice color by taking monster shits on the edge of the mash buckets.

  • Dale

    @Oginikwe:disqus , Just like the article says. Its not for resale and is shipped to correctional facilities. Another reason to not go to prison.

    • Oginikwe

      It doesn’t say that it all goes to correctional facilities. It says that this stuff at a correctional facility made people sick, thus the recall.

      “Institutions” are also hospitals, schools, old folks homes, etc.

      And, just because these people were inmates, that doesn’t mean they are any less human than you are.

  • Berzelius Windrip

    If any of the crowd here expressing outrage over this “food” product being pushed into institutions legally is also giddy about being ready for Hillary in 2016, consider that Lord and Lady Clinton have been deep in the Tyson’s pockets for decades.

  • Michel Frison

    If this is what our society call progress…well I salute our ancestor the caveman and cavewomen who where eating real plants, real meat and where probably not having salmonela issues !

    • Small Fish

      No. They were just dying from diarhea, smallpox, and the plague, which was often induced by the lack of preservation of their meats.

      • Jayson

        I agree. I watched a great series called Connections which traced canned food being evolved from the Napoleon wars. One time 2/3′s of his army was out hunting to gather food to feed the army and they got attacked. Necessity developed canned food. An offshoot of that was the canning factories got so hot and were cooking the workers they then developed rudimentary modern air conditioning.

        Cool eh?

    • Jayson

      I doubt it, they never had the awareness of sanitation nor refrigeration. Archaeologists have found caveman poo in diarrhea form quite often. My thoughts are they suffered from these food born viruses far more often.

  • JAID

    Something doesn’t fit here. I have never eaten but have actually had a fairly close look at chicken nuggets and seen the grain of meat in the. They are white also. If this pink stuff is used it must be a small part of the nuggets that I have seen.

    Despite having no interest in meat of any sort it baffles me that those who do have any problem with processes that make use of as someone below said, “cartilage” the parts which would not otherwise be eaten.

    Disgusting true but if you are going to slaughter you could have the grace to use the lot.

  • rc200688

    Looks like a strawberry milkshake but without diary products. That’s just horrible I hope their other meat products are safe to eat.

  • Veg Nik

    Yuck!!!

    I’ll stick with eco -eating: http://www.brook.com/veg

  • u r not thinking

    Institution means: an organization, establishment, foundation, society, or the like, devoted to the promotion of a particular cause or program, especially one of a public, educational, or charitable character:

  • http://aqfl.net/ Ant

    Ewwwwwwwwww!

  • spitfire1

    It’s amazing that are allowed to sell his crap to human beings, I wouldn’t feed this pink crap to an animal. This must be a poultry version of pink slime. Heck at least Klingons eat Gagh, and it looks like maggots.

  • Roy Howe

    Time for a reality check.

    Imagine you bring home a free range chicken to clean and eat, and you don’t want to be wasteful. You would want to get every last piece of meat muscle out of the bird. You could manually remove all the small pieces of meat left over when you de-bone a chicken, that would be called Manually Separated Chicken.

    Most people would not care about the 5% of the muscle that is left on the carcass, but any company that would throw away that much saleable product, and instead pay to dispose of it in the trash would be out of business in a hurry. The environmentalists would be all over them for being so wasteful.

    The cost of manual separation would be excessive, and as is the case in most manual operations, someone figured out how to do the separation mechanically. This first happened way back in the 60′s.

    On a cellular level, muscle is muscle, whether it is an whole intact breast or the smallest scraps left on the wing bone.

    Ammonia gas is used to help eliminate bacteria. This is called intervention. It is common practice to use a chemical intervention in meat processing. Whole muscle is even occasionally used. A good example is the Rosemary extract used to extend the shelf life of pork chops.

    In food production, ammonium hydroxide is used as a leavening agent or acidity regulator and is classified by the Food and Drug Administration as generally recognized as safe(GRAS). If it is so bad that it should be banned in the poultry industry, shouldn’t it also be banned from every bakery in the country? Ammonium hydroxide is a very common compound, found naturally in the environment (in air, water, and soil) and in all plants and animals, including humans.

    In this instance, where enough salmonella survived intervention, the case seems to be that not enough intervention was used.

    The one suggestion that I would make is to use a little critical thinking to argue your opinion on the matter. Most of the comments following this story are half truth one-liners from people whose minds are already made up. If you want to convince people that this is bad, and that we should change our ways, then come up with a coherent, cogent argument based on fact. Research the facts first if need be, but at least question the bias of the source of your information.

    For the record, I do not work for or ever have worked for a food processor. I don’t own stock in McDonald’s, Tyson Foods or any of the other companies that produce this type of product.

    I am beholden to no one but Truth and Honesty.

    • Wichowich

      Very nice, objective and informed comment.

    • alig

      It is true that muscle is muscle at the end of the day but the concern is what else is there with it. Mechanically separated goop, if you will allow me to call that, contains cartilage, small amount of bone and other tissue. It is all the other contents that worry people and how they get on the shelves quietly until someone finds out what they are made. Not to mention that manufacturers can include 15% of the goop into their food without labeling it.

      The best course of action should be to announce what processed food contains as soon as it is approved by law and not when it is plastered all over media years later.

      http://www.propublica.org/special/and-you-thought-it-was-just-pink-slime

      its ABC so take is with a grain of salt because of the law suit
      http://abcnews.go.com/US/safeway-supervalu-food-lion-stop-selling-pink-slime/story?id=15974064#.T3bVZNnZeSo

      • Roy Howe

        Is “goop” a technical term?

    • Jayson

      Well said and thanks for the insight since no one from the time this video came on the scene ever described to the masses what they were viewing and they had to figure it out on their own. With so much CSI and gore movies out there, they naturally come to the worst description to make sense of it all.

    • namerequired2

      Pretty sure you could keep your karma if you left the unsavory parts of the corpse for other animals and decomposers, like foxes and maggots. There is no need in nature to consume the beaks and toes of a corpse. In other words, “define wasteful”.

      If you truly wanted to avoid being “wasteful” you wouldn’t eat flesh generated by the corpse machine of modern western food production.

    • comparerofthings

      False comparison fallacy.

      You can’t compare industrialized production of food products to eating a free range chicken. The offal that is used to produce this kind of food is waste, already written off before it is re-purposed as mechanically separated meat.

      It is more akin to a plastics manufacturer using scraps of plastic that are the remainder from a cutting process. Things that fall on the floor after the main product has been cut/produced. This plastic usually has new impurities, and when it is remolded it is typically more brittle or has other problems so it is used in producing other products. For example, after making a high-end camera case the leftovers are used to make bottlecaps.

      The question is whether or not some humans should have to eat the bottlecaps. Should meat be more expensive because on the whole it should be held to a higher standard, or should some people have to eat offal because it is more profitable on the whole?

      Ideally, meat would be more expensive and fruits/vegetables would supplant the difference. This is not high-quality, high-nutrition meat in the classical term. It’s simply edible mush that someone can turn a profit on.

  • stacey

    How does anything processed like that ever get approved as food? Where’s the FDA? This is shameful, outrageous and completely disgusting. No wonder everyone is sick and obese in this country.

  • Harold Hughes

    Show this to the kids, maybe they won’t want to place in jail.

  • boece

    The pink slime stuff has gone around the Internet a bunch of times as being what Chicken McNuggets are made out of it but this has been widely disproven. McNuggets – and, for that matter, beef patties – are NOT MADE FROM PINK SLIME. People stupidly and ignorantly agree with these falsehoods without even thinking about it. Mechanically-separated meat parts are used almost exclusively for animal food and feed (dog, cat, etc.). Slaughtering meat is a bad/ugly enough process, but ammonia-treated meat sludge is another level of gross. McD’s has plenty of reasons to be slammed so you don’t really need patently false Internet stories to make stuff up about them.

  • Rev-Ariel Asriel

    Pink Ice Cream Chicken?

  • Dan Rivers

    Holy Crapoli!! That did it for me…..Bring on the vegan food!

  • KEVIN GORDON

    Solyent Pink.

  • Campbell Sinclair

    Those are chicken mcnuggets and every single product that uses a meat paste, Enjoy !

  • divaj30

    OH MY DAM!!!!! I GUESS MY GIRLS AND I WON’T HAVE CHICKEN FOR A WHILE

  • Jayson

    Like Ford and their grand scheme behind the Pinto Fiasco in the ’70′s. Cheaper to pay the various beneficiary lawsuits than to apply an actual fix. Regardless how many of the public dies in a fire. Free corporations are not benefiting anyone.

  • Chris Soverow

    Soylent Pink is made of (miscellaneous left over parts of) Chicken

  • yolo

    If you actually read the article it states that this product is not sold to consumers dork. “America will read again.”

    • Bonez Conway

      “Mechanically separated poultry has been used in poultry products since 1969.”
      Read it and weep yolo.

  • jkabe

    these are inmates, felons, we are talking about. I say feed them more MSC.

    • Oginikwe

      Schools are also “institutions.”
      Maybe your kids are inmates and felons, but most of our children are not.

  • SteveH

    Inform the consumer on the label at the point of purchase. Let the consumer decide.

  • MaxConAire

    The food industry in this country is despicable. The garbage that we often eat or feed to our children is processed, full of chemicals and now often genetically modified. All so that McDonalds and their ilk can reap the highest profits. But as long as people buy it and eat it, the cycle will continue. Unfortunately, eating organic is expensive and for many families, hard to do. But staying away from the processed foods is a start.

  • commercialshortsales

    They just announced the shutting down of three California plants. One due to roach investation.
    Talk about killing a respected brand name. That one is in Livingston, CA. the others are located in Fresno.

    • Oginikwe

      A respected brand name breeding cockroaches?

  • whoisthey

    I guess the part everyone missed is this is “institutional” food. Most of you have never even been in an “institution” but stand by in complicity and say nothing about their continued high lack of vacancy rate. The chickens are also incarcerated. So just keep sending this “food product” to the “bad schools” and “rehab facilities” in neighborhoods you have been testing on for years. Its just true at this point. Now back to your foie gras and complain about something real like an awards show.

  • Bin Ary

    Cancer happens regardless of what you eat, how you eat and where you eat it. We all need to get some effin brains and eat proper portions and enjoy life. f off libs.

    • mineralt

      Bin, there is a mountain of medical evidence that counters this. My advice is to read. You can start with the Amercian Cancer Society, Nutritionfacts.org or many other sources online.

  • Johnesch

    “Chicken Feet” in Africa are called “RunAways” and are a delicacy, as are the “heads” which are called “Talkies”. I.E. “Walkie Talkies”.
    Edible is edible, and Sheeps heads are called “Smilies”, because they Smile hen you cook them to perfection !

    Hehe! Only in Africa !

    • African Man

      Africa is a huge and diverse continent with a very wide variety of countries, customs, traditions and practices in the very many different parts. When you lump all of Africa together like it’s a county in the US, you only expose your ignorance of anything outside these shores. I really get tired of ignorance!

  • Roy Howe

    We also grow our own food. We have several gardens in our yard, and also occasionally grow rabbits. We do the same thing with the cage of the rabbit. We make one hell of a good white rabbit chili.

    • Oginikwe

      Why would you grow your own food while promoting this as “food”? Why grow your own food at all when you can eat this stuff?

  • Roy Howe

    I am going to agree with Johnesch’s response. Chicken feet are a delicacy in many countries. They are called Paws in most of Asia, and can be the most profitable part of a chicken. There is no way that they would intentionally put that into the mechanically separation process. As far as the cartilage, vessels, skin, and organs, I cannot speak to that. What is your background information on this?
    As far as pouring toxic ammonia on their chicken, how about toxic chlorine? Of Flouride? Wash the chicken once in the sink and you get both.

    As far as using stabilizers, emulsifiers, and preservatives, I don’t disagree that these are evil sounding terms, but in reality, isn’t corn starch a stabilizer, and tapioca an emulsifier, and lemon juice, rosemary extract, and salt all preservatives? Call it Sodium Chloride if you want if that sounds more evil to you, but it is still salt.
    Water doesnt even sound all that safe if you start calling it DiHydro-Oxide.

  • Roy Howe

    I did some research. Do you have any research to counter my argument?
    And, Tyson could not afford me.

  • Vera Lynn

    One of the reasons I only buy organic farm raised chicken or beef and make my own. And you will never get me to eat a hot dog or lunch meat either.

  • ryan

    SPOT ON.

  • Oginikwe

    Read this and you can feel the same way about Hormel products. Whenever I see a can of Spam, I don’t know if I should cry or gag.

    The Spam Factory’s Dirty Secret July/August 2011: http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/06/hormel-spam-pig-brains-disease

  • Oginikwe

    No, I don’t. We raise all of our own meat and my child is prohibited from eating hot lunch at school. This article is exactly why we started raising our own.

  • Oginikwe

    Yeah, but they’re waxed . . .lol.

  • Tom Super

    Ammonium hydroxide is not used in the production of mechanically separated chicken.

  • past inspector

    watched this machine work and will NOT eat Mechanically deboned poultry products -too many lungs, kidneys, aorta and sex glands are acceptable to the USDA . worse yet they can call it meat now!