Poultry & Meat

Listeria Concern Prompts Health Alert for Frozen Poultry Products

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The US Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has issued a public health alert for approximately 130,860 pounds of frozen fully cooked, diced chicken products that may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

The following items, packed on January 25 and 26 and on March 23 and 24, 2021, are affected:

•4-lb. plastic bags containing “Fully Cooked Chicken Meat ¾ Diced White” with code 13530, Est. number P-18237, and pack dates of 01/25/2021and 01/26/2021.

•4-lb. plastic bags containing “Fully Cooked Chicken Meat Dark/White ¾ Diced” with code 16598, Est. number P-45638, and pack dates of 24/MAR/2021 and 23/MAR/2021.

The products bear establishment numbers “P-18237” or “P-45638” inside the USDA mark of inspection and were distributed by Big Daddy Foods, Inc., a Houston, Texas firm. These items were further distributed to consumers at local food banks in Florida through the USDA Farmers to Families Food Box program in individual food boxes from February 25, to March 1, and from March 29 to April 8, 2021, at temporary locations.

The threat was identified when FSIS inspectors discovered that products requiring recooking due to possible Lm contamination had been repackaged without being recooked. A subsequent FSIS investigation determined other affected product had been further distributed into the marketplace.

 Thus far there have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of the chicken. Anyone concerned about an illness should contact a health care provider, as consumption of food contaminated with L. monocytogenes can cause listeriosis, a serious infection that primarily affects older adults, persons with weakened immune systems, and pregnant women and their newborns. Less commonly, persons outside these risk groups are affected.

Listeriosis, which is treated with antibiotics, can cause fever, muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions sometimes preceded by diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms. An invasive infection spreads beyond the gastrointestinal tract. In pregnant women, the infection can cause miscarriages, stillbirths, premature delivery or life-threatening infection of the newborn. In addition, serious and sometimes fatal infections can occur in older adults and persons with weakened immune systems.