Fact Check

Chicken Nugget Murder Recall?

There is no recall of chicken nuggets underway due to the discovery of human remains in a processing facility.

Published Mar 9, 2016

A massive recall of chicken nuggets is underway after authorities in Iowa found human remains in a meat processing facility.

On 8 March 2016, the web site Fox3News published an article claiming chicken nuggets at several popular chain restaurants were being recalled due to contamination by human remains:

A cease-and-desist letter has been issued to the corporate office of popular fast food chain’s chicken nugget’s supplier after an investigation led to recovering the remains of 6 people involved in a large drug smuggling operation. Mills Poultry distribution center in Iowa city, Iowa was issued a search warrant after authorities received tips that the manager of the farm had covered up several murders he had committed over the last six months at the facility.

The search, which was conducted over the weekend, revealed the remains of several human bones hidden underneath the tile flooring in the corporate offices ... investigations, revealed on Monday, confirm the remains match those of 6 individuals whom the FBI had been searching for related to border drug smuggling ... the chicken which was ground for nuggets served at several popular fast food chain restaurants, also tested positive for 5 out of the 6 victim’s DNA. They also found human hair and skin sample remains in the meat grinders used to produce the chicken nuggets

Fox3News featured an "About" page, but didn't warn readers that its content consisted entirely of fake news. The site's tactic (posing as a legitimate local news affiliate) was similar to that of Now8News and Newswatch33, and as with items published to those web sites, there was no truth to the claim about human remains in chicken nuggets.

The web site Fox3News.com wasn't linked to any regional affiliate of the network, and only came into existence on 2 March 2016. However, the pages closely mimicked the colors and style of recognizable media brand Fox News:



The photo accompanying the fake story was taken from an unrelated thread on Reddit. It's worth noting that the seal displayed on the side of the police vehicle is that of Ontario, California, not Iowa City, Iowa, as the fake story claimed.

Kim LaCapria is a former writer for Snopes.

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