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Update–May 9, 2016: Pilgrim’s Pride has expanded this recall from 4.5 million pounds to 5 million pounds of chicken products.
Pilgrim’s Pride, the second largest chicken producer in the world, has been in the news a lot this month — but it’s hard to imagine the company finding any pride in these headlines.
In early April, the company recalled over 40,000 pounds of chicken products after discovering they “may be contaminated with extraneous materials, including plastic, wood, rubber, and metal,” according to US Department of Agriculture reports.
Today, classifying the health risk as “high,” the USDA issued an announcement that this recall is being expanded — to 4.5 million pounds.
The recalled products are marketed under the brand names of Gold Kist Farms, Pierce, and Sweet Georgia. As noted in the USDA’s report, some of these recalled items were also “shipped for institutional use nationwide,” including schools.
This massive meat recall is only one of the reasons Pilgrim’s has been in the news this month.
Last Sunday, the New York Times ran a hard-hitting feature about the suffering endured by billions of chickens raised for their meat in the US each year. This story, based on a Compassion In World Farm investigation inside a chicken factory farm that supplies Pilgrim’s, “highlights the way the poultry industry today is often inhumane for birds, wrenching for farmers and potentially unhealthy for consumers. The investigation includes stomach-churning video of what actually goes on in chicken barns.”
And this isn’t the first time Pilgrim’s has been exposed for cruelty to animals.
As featured in a CNN exclusive report in 2014, COK released a gut-wrenching undercover video revealing shocking cruelty to chickens inside a North Carolina chicken factory farm that supplied Pilgrim’s.The footage reveals birds suffering from ammonia burns, leg deformities, and other ailments as well as sick birds being buried alive in outdoor pits.
So what’s the best way to avoid contaminated chicken and prevent animal cruelty? Choose plant-based foods – get started today at TryVeg.com.
Chickens buried alive: watch this powerful video from COK’s investigation of a Pilgrim’s Pride supplier factory farm.