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article imageOp-Ed: Processed chicken free of human body parts says factory worker

By Robert Myles     Mar 7, 2013 in Food
The confessions of a chicken processing plant worker caused much clucking on a Reddit thread but when it comes to chicken nuggets, the insider gave re-assurance that processed chicken products contain nothing in the way of human body parts.
It’s not hard to find a scare story about what goes into our food these days. The horsemeat scandal canters on in Europe, each day bringing new revelations.
In North America, CBS recently reported on a fish mislabelling scam which an environmental group claimed more than a third of the fish from over 1200 samples sourced across the US wasn’t what it claimed to be.
There was even a cake scandal reported in Digital Journal recently, but you really don’t want to be reading about that if you’re browsing this article enjoying a coffee and muffin, trust me.
Not wishing to be cooped up, this week, it was the turn of poultry to enter the culinary crisis.
Business Insider highlights the comments of a (anonymous) worker at a Perdue chicken processing plant who’d taken to Reddit to spill the beans, or should that be gizzards, of what goes into chicken nuggets.
On a Reddit Ask Me Anything thread, entitled "I work at a chicken processing plant and I know where your food comes from," he explained why chicken nuggets were off the menu in his household. But really, if a grocery store is selling a 14 pound bag of chicken nuggets with a 'too-good-to-be-true' price tag, should we really be surprised if, although the content might be 100% chicken, it’s chicken meat content might fall a tad short of ‘entire’.
On Reddit, the worker explains, “It's the meat that can only be gotten by smashing, mashing, mixing, boiling, bleaching, etc the other unwanted parts of the chicken.”
By ‘other parts’, I tend to think about the bits of a (real) chicken dinner I might leave at the side of the plate and not the ‘other parts’ that might be in chicken nuggets about which, my mind is telling me, it really would not be a wise idea to reveal too much to my digestive system.
The worker also went on to describe what he says goes into chicken nuggets. Here, a distinction has to be drawn between chicken nuggets labelled as 100% meat — by law these must contain precisely that — and low end processed chicken. In the latter case, the worker had this to say, “It’s all chicken. It’s just not all meat. Some of it’s skin, a few bones, fat, and whatever meat might still be attached to any of the previous mentioned.”
As the chicken insider put it, “Basically anything you buy in stores such as breasts, tenders, whole birds=100% chicken. So no worries there. Chicken nuggets from fast food restaurants...not so much. Lol”
My stomach certainly wasn’t ‘Lol’ when I saw that last, knowing 'Lol' — more like ‘Col’ — churning out loud.
Fortunately, the vague queasiness I felt calmed down when I saw in the Huffington Post that a spokesman for the Perdue plant, Joe Forsthoffer, said that both Perdue and Harvestland branded chicken nuggets are produced from 100 percent breast meat. The Huffpost also said that the anonymous Redditor worked in a processing plant, whose production run doesn’t include chicken nuggets.
Whew! Pass the bucket – yes, the chicken one not the other one.
Not only that, but when it came to the hygiene regime operated at the Perdue plant the worker was much more re-assuring. A Reddit enquirer, clearly a Horror aficionado, had asked, “Are there any incidents of people losing fingers or hands in the machines? If something like this happens what does the factory do?”
To which the anonymous Redditor responded, "...yes, it happens quite a bit. Basically, any product that was on the line where the incident occurs is disposed of immediately. Doesn't matter if it was right beside the incident or 10 feet away. Maintenance then comes in, takes off and cleans parts of the machine, then we spray 4 different food friendly disinfectants on said parts, then they are sprayed with chlorinated water."
Unnervingly, of the cadavers now minus assorted body parts there was no mention....Hmm, wonder where they'll turn up.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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