Recalled foods not stocked by local grocers

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Selma Times-Journal

No major local retailers have reported stocking recalled chicken giblets distributed by Cagle&8217;s Incorporated, a poultry company based in Collinsville.

Cagle&8217;s Inc. voluntarily recalled about 943,000 pounds of various fresh and frozen poultry products and fresh carcasses with giblets inserted, the USDA announced Friday. The giblets may cause a potential health hazard because of improper handling.

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Area restaurants and grocery stores that confirmed they did not have the recalled meat included Calhoun Foods, Winn-Dixie, Wal-Mart, Valley Grande Market, the Washington Street Supermarket, and Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Included in the recall were Cagle&8217;s brand breaded gizzards, frying chicken gizzards, and frying chicken livers in bulk packages, and &8220;Our Premium Deli&8221; brand prebreaded chicken livers, prebreaded chicken gizzards, frying chicken hearts, and frying chicken skinless necks, also in bulk packages.

The announcement was a Class I recall, meaning that there is a reasonable probability that using the recalled product will cause serious health problems or death.

The meat under recall was processed and packaged at a Collinsville plant located in southern Dekalb County and not far from the I-59 corridor going toward Chattanooga.

The plant installed new equipment in November 2007 to sort through internal chicken parts such as hearts and livers while processing whole chickens. Before that time all parts were thrown out.

According to the release, the inspection service was unable to confirm that the chicken parts that were approved for the public to eat had been separated from the chicken parts not approved to eat. The recalled meat was produced between Dec. 3, 2007 and March 12, 2008 and distributed nationwide.

Henry Gordon, a meat specialist with Calhoun Foods, said it is important for companies to be proactive when it comes to handling recalled products. He said the distributor for Calhoun Foods, Associated Grocery, sends out bulletins regularly informing them of recalled products that the store may or may not carry.