Whole Foods Chicken Salad Recalled for Having No Chicken

(Image credit: Whole Foods Market)

Food recalls can happen for frightening reasons. Sometimes items are found to contain traces of bacteria like listeria, the Hepatitis A virus, and salmonella. Other times it can be absurd like pieces of metal in ice cream or a decomposing bat found in a bag of pre-packaged salad. And sometimes, your food doesn’t contain the main ingredient listed in the name itself.

That’s the case with the 440 pounds of chicken salad being recalled for a relatively harmless reason: there’s no chicken in them. The chicken salad from Massachusetts’ Willow Tree Poultry Farm, sold under the Whole Foods brand name, was accidentally packed with cranberry-apple tuna salad. The mixup was spotted by Whole Foods employees, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Since there’s no health risk due to bacterial contamination, the USDA pulled the product from shelves due to “misbranding,” as it could potentially contain an “undeclared allergen.” Sure, there’s technically no gross contamination, but for those who suffer from allergies, an ingredient could trigger health issues.

The recall affects 12.5-ounce packages of “buffalo-style chicken salad” sent to roughly 35 Whole Foods stores in three states: Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York. Inside the container will be a USDA mark of inspection reading “P-8827.”

Thus far, there are no reported cases of allergic reactions to the salad. Those who have purchased the item are being instructed to toss them out or return them to Whole Foods for a refund.

Incidentally, the distributor is no stranger to misbranding-related recalls. Fox News reports that Will Tree Poultry Farm underwent a similar recall at the start of the year. Back in January, the company issued a recall for 204 pounds of chicken salad that really contained egg salad. The company reportedly uncovered the mistake after sending the “chicken salads” to a New Jersey supplier.

Make your own chicken salad: How To Make Classic Chicken Salad