Perdue Chicken Processing Plant Worker Talks Gross Chicken Nuggets, Unclean Birds On Reddit

03/05/2013 05:32 pm ET

In 2010, over a year before the pink slime scandal came to light, there was a viral photo of pre-chicken nugget meat paste, more technically known as mechanically-separated poultry. While the validity and origins of the photo remain slightly dubious, the picture cast light on the fact that the ingredients in chicken nuggets may be a bit suspect. These suspicions have continued -- most recently when Melanie Warner, author of the book "Pandora's Lunchbox," conducted an experiment in which she left chicken nuggets out, only to find they they completely liquefied after a couple of months.

Raising further questions around what ingredients go into chicken nuggets, an anonymous online poster who said he works at a Perdue chicken processing plant recently shared on Reddit what he's picked up on the job. The worker described that he avoids fast food chicken nuggets, because some of what ends up in the nuggets includes "skin, few bones, fat, whatever meat is attached to the skin."

The worker wrote that while all the ingredients in the nuggets are 100 percent chicken, it just isn't 100 percent meat, at least in his opinion. Despite his claims, chains such as McDonald's purport to use only chicken breast meat.

When reached for comment by The Huffington Post, Perdue spokesman Joe Forsthoffer said that both Perdue- and Harvestland-branded chicken nuggets are made from 100 percent breast meat. Forsthoffer also said that the Redditor works in a processing plant, which does not produce chicken nuggets.

Beyond discussing nuggets, the worker also described the constant smell of chlorine in the plant and the procedure when someone loses a finger or hand:

Basically, any product that was on the line where the incident occurs is disposed of immediately. Doesn't matter if it was right beside the incident or 10 feet away. Maintenance then comes in, takes off and cleans parts of the machine, then we spray 4 different food friendly disinfectants on said parts, then they are sprayed with chlorinated water.

Forsthoffer said the company uses chlorinated water in the plant for "food safety and sanitation."

In the reddit thread, the worker alleged that he had seen people drop chickens on the floor and then put them back on the production line when no one was looking.

Despite all of this, the poster said he still eats chicken, and feels pride for Perdue chicken products.

Read the whole thread here.

[h/t Consumerist]

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