Food by VICE

'Chicken Salad' Recalled From Whole Foods for Not Containing Any Chicken


by Jelisa Castrodale
Jul 6 2017, 6:00pm

Photo via Flickr user gexydaf

The phrase "tastes like chicken" has long since jumped the (possibly chicken-flavored) shark, and should be banned as a punchline, a T-shirt slogan or a flavor descriptive for at least the next decade. The only exception? If you took a bite of a recently recalled batch of Buffalo chicken salad from Whole Foods. That would've been an appropriately surprising comment, especially since there was no actual chicken anywhere inside those mislabeled plastic containers.

According to a news release from the US Department of Agriculture, Willow Tree Poultry Farm had to recall 440 pounds of "Buffalo-style chicken products" because, despite having those words on the label, the packages actually contained cranberry-apple tuna salad. The not-chicken-salad was shipped to 35 Whole Foods stores in Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York, and had the Whole Foods logo and name on the packaging. (A Willow Tree spokesperson told FOX News that the company produces "private label" products for a number of Whole Foods locations).

The mistake was discovered by workers at one of the Whole Foods locations that received the Mistake Salad, who noticed that there was something strange about that particular shipment. The salad was recalled because tuna is a possible allergen, and should have been labeled as such; the USDA described this recall as a Category I, which means that 'This is a health hazard situation where there is a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death."

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"Willow Tree announced a voluntary recall of a limited quantity of one type of chicken salad that was sold in 12.5-oz containers under private labeling for distribution at select Whole Foods," Willow Tree said in a statement sent to MUNCHIES. "The recalled chicken salad is sold under the Whole Foods label. No products labeled with the Willow Tree logo, or any other retailers, are affected by the recall. No Massachusetts retailers are affected by the recall. The products were produced on June 27, 2017 and contain a "Sell By" date of July 13, 2017 [...] There are no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products and no other Willow Tree products are affected by the recall."

In January, Willow Tree had to recall 204 pounds of Whole Foods-brand chicken salad because those containers actually contained egg salad. That "chicken"—please envision air quotes—was also distributed to Whole Foods locations in Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York. (This makes us think that Jessica Simpson currently works as a quality control inspector at Willow Tree Poultry Farm.) (And no, there's no way we were getting out of this without a Jessica Simpson reference.)

MUNCHIES has reached out to Whole Foods for comment on the matter but has not yet received a response.

Whole Foods
Jessica Simpson forever