October 19, 2021

Was Recalled Tyson Chicken Imported From China? The Answer is No

After seeing some rumors about the Tyson chicken recalled for possible Listeria contamination being processed in China, Food Poisoning Bulletin conducted some research. While it is true that as of 2013, China can export processed chicken to the United States (the rule was finalized in 2017), was recalled Tyson chicken imported from China? The answer is no.

Was Recalled Tyson Chicken Imported From China? No

A USDA-FSIS spokesperson told us, “The product subject to recall was not processed in China. The product was processed at Tyson Foods establishment in Dexter, Missouri with domestic source materials.” Indeed, the Tyson website says the same thing, adding that these rumors are a hoax.

And even though it’s now legal, very little processed chicken is exported from China to the United States. The Tyson chicken in question was produced in the United States between December 26, 2020 and April 13, 2021. More than 8.5 million pounds of chicken products are recalled.

By comparison, even going back to November 2020, just 33,018 pounds of ready-to-eat, fully cooked not sliced poultry was imported from China. in February 2021, just 53 pounds of fully cooked not sliced chicken was imported from China; in January 2021, 38 pounds of fully cooked not sliced chicken was imported. USDA statistics from 2019 show that of the 4.2 million pounds of meat and poultry products that were imported into this country from all other countries, products imported from China accounted for just 0.27% of all of it.

Some news sources say that this is due to economies of scale. It is simply not cost-efficient to import chicken from the United States, process it, then ship it back to the U.S.

The recalled Tyson chicken has been implicated in a deadly Listeria monocytogenes outbreak that has killed one person who lived in Texas and has sickened and hospitalized two others who live in Delaware and Texas. The list of recalled products is long and these items were sold at many large grocery store chains around the country.

So check your freezer to see if you have any of these recalled items. And rest assured that it’s not true that Tyson chicken was imported from China.

 

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