Food Safety Issues/Tyson brand Chicken


Hello Carol,

This is a rather unusual question. At the grocery store I have been buying Tyson frozen chicken breasts for grilling for many years, mainly because they are a well known, national brand.  I also sometimes get the breaded chicken strips and 'tenders' for snacks or appetizers.  Recently I began noticing a difference in the texture of the chicken both in the breasts and the breaded strips.  Now they both seem to be rather "stringy" when eating them.  Also, sometimes the breast portions are shaped unusually, like they are semi-twisted and elongated, and nothing like they once were.  

The actual taste of the chicken is the same, but it is the texture, or stringyness (if that is a word) of the meat that concerns me.  I'm sure you've heard over the past several years that many fast food restaurants have been cited for serving horse meat and other non-beef or non-chicken items.  And who knows if other restaurants use this practice to save money. This thought has crossed my mind about the change in the Tyson chicken texture I've been noticing.  

So my question is, in your opinion, does this stringy texture of the chicken meat sound abnormal to you?  I am almost 60 years old and have eaten chicken all my life, and to all of a sudden notice a change in the texture is very odd.  Could it be some kind of additive to their feed that makes the meat this way?  Or could it possibly be another animal I have been eating?  I have tried searching for complaints about Tyson Foods but have found nothing so far.  I love chicken, but I am almost to the point of giving it up, or at least changing brands.  

Thank you.

Dear Gary,

This is an unusual question of which I do not have a definitive answer.  I'm not aware of Tyson using different feeding or processing procedures and I think the best way to get to the heart of your question is to contact Tyson directly with your complaint.  Their consumer relations phone number is 800-233-6332 or you contact them online:

Normally, stringy or rubbery chicken is a result of cooking at too high of heat. But since you didn't mention any changes in the way you are cooking the chicken I doubt if this is the answer to your question.  And I also doubt that you are consuming anything but chicken when you buy Tyson chicken breasts and chicken products.

I can address one of the issues that you mention -- namely the using of non-beef products in fast food entrees.  This accusation was made against Burger King in the United Kingdom when traces of horsemeat was found in the meat of one of their suppliers.  They immediately changed suppliers and horsemeat has not been found in US fast food chains. Several fake news stories have been made against them and other fast food chains which are completely false. (See

At this point I'd suggest both calling Tyson and registering a complaint AND trying other chicken brands to see if you can find one that is more to your liking.

I hope you are able to get an answer from Tyson.


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Carol Schlitt


I can answer questions on home food safety, sanitation and home food preservation.


I am a former Extension educator, nutrition, wellness and food safety, having retired August 1, 2010. I am a food safety instructor for the Illinois Department of Public Health, a ServSafe Instructor/Proctor and have my own company, Safe & Savory Solutions, Inc -

National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (Past President and current Historian), St. Louis Culinary Society.

BS - University of Illinois MS - Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville

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