Conagra Brands (NYSE:CAG) issued a recall for more than 130,000 pounds of frozen chicken last weekend after small rocks or pebbles were allegedly found in the product by customers. The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued a statement on the recall last Friday, April 10, designating the event as "Health Risk: High."
The FSIS classified the problem as "possible foreign matter contamination" and said an unspecified number of customers contacted Conagra to complain about pebbles in "Healthy Choice POWER BOWLS Chicken Feta & Farro" from specific manufacturing lots. Conagra then notified the USDA of the problem, at which point the FSIS announced the recall.
The USDA statement says no known injuries or illnesses had been caused by the rocks as of the time it published the recall. It went on to remark that it is "concerned that some product may be in consumers' freezers. Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away."
Not all Healthy Choice Chicken Feta & Farro bowls are believed to contain the rocks. Only 9.5 ounce bowls with an Oct. 19, 2020 "best by" date and the lot code "5006002320" are included in the recall. The food items were sent to grocery stores across both the USA and Canada. Dan Hare, a Conagra spokesman, informed USA TODAY that the rocks "likely remained from harvesting ingredients contained in the product."
Frozen and canned foods have been exceptionally popular grocery items during the COVID-19 pandemic, with Conagra selling 17.5% more frozen foods such as the Healthy Choice chicken bowls than it did last March.