Roasted chicken breasts are being recalled for possible contamination with the dangerous, sometimes deadly, Listeria pathogen, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) just announced.
The FSIS is classifying this recall as a Class I, its most severe, and representing a health hazard situation in which there is a reasonable probability that the use of the recalled product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death.
House of Raeford Farms, of Raeford, North Carolina, is recalling approximately 4,140 pounds of cooked chicken breasts that may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, said the FSIS. The products subject to recall include 18- to 22-pound boxes containing two 9- to 11-pound “BONELESS OVEN ROASTED CHICKEN BREASTS.”
The recalled chicken breasts bear the establishment number “P-239A” inside the USDA mark of inspection, along with a product code of “94268” and a package date of “1270” (September 27, 2011). The products were shipped to delicatessens and food service institutions for further processing in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.
If available, the retail distribution list(s) will be posted on the FSIS website at: www.fsis.usda.gov/FSIS_Recalls/Open_Federal_Cases/index.asp
The problem was discovered after a customer’s laboratory sample tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes. The FSIS has not received any reports of illness due to consumption of these products.
Raeford Farms’ Manager, Corporate Communications, Dave Witter, can be reached at 1.910.289.6895. Consumers with food safety questions can “Ask Karen,” the FSIS virtual representative available 24 hours a day at AskKaren.gov. “Ask Karen” live chat services are available Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Eastern Time (ET). The toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline 1.888.MPHotline (1.888.674.6854) is available in English and Spanish and is available from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday. Recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a day.
Although no illnesses have been reported, to date, it is important to bear in mind that the Listeria pathogen can take up to 60-70 days to manifest with symptoms after consumption of tainted food.
The Listeria monocytogenes pathogen can lead to the listeriosis infection, which is potentially fatal and can cause high fever, severe headache, neck stiffness, abdominal cramps and pain, diarrhea, and nausea, especially in those with weakened immune systems, infants, and the elderly. Vulnerable populations, such as the developing fetus, can suffer serious central nervous system problems. The infection can prompt premature births, or the death of the fetus via miscarriages and stillbirths. Pregnant women are 20 times likelier to become infected. Listeriosis can also lead to hearing loss or brain damage in newborns, and can lead to neurological effects and cardio respiratory failure in adults.