January 27, 2020

No Middleman, Bradley County Jail Got Chicken Product From Tyson

The Bradley County Jail in TN, where nine inmates contracted Salmonella poisoning from a Tyson chicken product, received the product directly from Tyson and used it to prepare meals, Shelley Walker, a spokesperson for the Tennessee Department of Health told Food Poisoning Bulletin today. No other company was involved in the transaction between Tyson and the jail.

SalmonellaThe product, mechanically separated chicken, has a consistency that is much looser than ground chicken, more like a paste or thick batter. Normally, it used as an ingredient in hot dogs, bologna and luncheon meats, but no company acted as a middleman using the Tyson product to make those items for the jail. The correctional facility took delivery of the product, which has since been recalled, from Tyson. It is not clear at this point how the product was served to the inmates.

Tyson Foods Inc. of Sedalia, Mo. recalled the product, which was distributed for institutional use nationwide in chubs or plastic tubes pinched closed at each end, on January 10. About 34,000 pounds of the product produced on Oct. 11, 2013 and sold in 40-lb. cases, each containing four, 10-lb. chubs, was recalled.  The products bear the establishment number “P-13556” inside the USDA mark of inspection with case code 2843SDL1412 – 18.

The product was not sold in grocery stores. But “institutional use” means these products may have been distributed to schools, prisons, jails, restaurants, and other venues. At this time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is awaiting test results to determine if illnesses reported in 12 other states are related to this outbreak.

Note: The image of mechanically separated poultry is courtesy of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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