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News and analysis on the global poultry
and animal feed industries.
Poultry Processing & Slaughter / Broilers & Layers
on January 19, 2015

Plastic in McDonald’s chicken not from Cargill, company says

Investigation included physical, chemical and microscopic third-party analyses

Cargill stated that after an exhaustive investigation, the company is confident the blue, plastic foreign material recently reported in one McDonald's chicken nugget in Japan did not originate from Cargill’s production facilities. The Cargill investigation included physical analysis, chemical analysis, microscopic third-party lab analysis and a step-by-step search across Cargill’s entire production facility.

Cargill had been cited as a possible source for the plastic found in a chicken nugget as the fast food chain had dealt with several reports of debris in its food at Japanese locations. Cargill is a supplier for McDonald’s.

While Cargill investigated multiple potential blue plastic materials found in their production facilities and processes, chemical and physical analysis revealed that the type of plastic found in the nugget does not exist in the Cargill production plants in Thailand.

“Additional data points revealed during the investigation such as; the length of the blue plastic film, lab analysis results lacking clear indications associated with heating and a review of the records of our Food Safety and Quality Assurance Programs suggest that this plastic film found in the nugget was not impacted as would be expected by our meat grinding and cooking processes. We are very confident that the plastic film in the nugget occurred outside of our production plant.” stated Chuck Warta, president, Cargill Meats Thailand.

Warta continued,” We are always striving to reduce risks in our production processes. We are going to increase our investments in additional x-ray machines and additional resources at our visual inspection points at our Thailand facilities.” 

“Producing safe, high-quality food is our top priority. This means we must embrace every issue as an opportunity to deeply review each step in our food production processes to insure we deliver safe, delicious food to our customers and consumers,” concluded Vares Ransibrahmanakul, Food Safety & Quality Assurance director, Cargill Meats Thailand. 

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