A Georgia company recalled 15,408 pounds of grilled chicken last Friday after recent testing revealed traces of an unapproved substance. According to a report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), some of the ready-to-eat chicken produced by Suzanna’s Kitchen Inc. was found to contain “concentrations of thallium.”
The substance, which was once used to make rat poison but is now used in electronics manufacturing, does not “present an immediate health hazard,” says the USDA, based on the amount found in the chicken. However, that doesn’t mean that the metallic element, which is similar to lead, is safe to eat. In fact, when consumed in large amounts, thallium can have some pretty scary side effects, including nausea, brain injury and even death.
Which is why, when it was detected by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services during standard testing, Suzanna’s Kitchen voluntarily issued a Class II recall. And the FSIS noted that they are “working with the involved parties to identify the source of the contamination and prevent any further product from going into commerce.”
So how do you know if you purchased poisoned poultry? The recall is for a very specific product: 8-oz. boxes of Nature Raised Farms Organic Gluten Free Grilled Chicken Breast Strips that were produced on June 20, 2018 and have a “Use By” date of June 20, 2019. The contaminated packages also have a lot number of 1718SUZ01 along with an establishment number of “EST. 1381” printed on the side of the box.
Suzanna's Kitchen, Inc. is recalling approximately 15,363 pounds of grilled chicken products due to a concentration of thallium. Concentration levels do not present an immediate health hazard but prolonged ingestion could cause some health effects. Visit https://t.co/gV7VX4lb74 pic.twitter.com/FXk7gbxvN8
— Michigan HHS Dept (@MichiganHHS) October 29, 2018
According to the USDA, there have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions from the chicken—yet. But the agency is cautioning consumers not to take their chances, and urging anyone who has one of the recalled packages to either throw it away or return it to the store where you purchased it.