May 4 (UPI) -- Tyson Foods has recalled 12 million pounds of chicken strips over potential metal contamination, federal food safety officials said Saturday.
The recall impacting 11,829,517 pounds of frozen, ready-to-eat chicken strips is a significant expansion from a voluntary recall of approximately 69,093 pounds of the same type of product in March.
The frozen, ready-to-eat chicken strip items were produced from October 1 through March 8, with "use by" dates of October 1, 2019 through March 7, 2020, the Food Safety and Inspection Service said in a statement. The items bear establishment number "P-7221" on the back of the product package.
Consumers who purchased the recalled products are urged not to consume them, the statement said. The products should instead be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase. Those concerned about an injury or illness should contact a healthcare provider.
Federal food safety officials discovered the problem when two customers complained of "extraneous materials" in chicken strips, the statement said. Officials are now aware of six complaints of metal pieces in the products with three alleging oral injury.
Tyson Foods said in a statement Saturday that it expanded the voluntary recall originally issued on March 21, after additional consumers recently reported finding metal fragments "in a small number of products."
"Consumers expect that the food they eat is safe," said Barbara Masters, vice president of regulatory food policy, food and agriculture at Tyson Foods. "In their best interest and in an abundance of caution we're taking quick and decisive action to expand this recall."
Masters added that the company is also taking action to correct the problem.
"We have discontinued use of the specific equipment believed to be associated with the metal fragments, and we will be installing metal-detecting X-ray machinery to replace the plant's existing metal detection system," Masters said. "We will also be using a third-party video auditing system for metal-detection verification."
Consumers can contact Tyson Foods Consumer Relations at 866-886-8456.