A large-scale recall of ready-to-eat chicken products has been initiated by Tyson Foods Inc. over potential Listeria contamination concerns.  According to details released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), the recall involved almost 8.5 million pounds of product, sold in stores nationwide.

Tyson Foods, Inc. has pulled "8,492,832 pounds of [their] ready-to-eat (RTE) chicken products that may be adulterated with Listeria monocytogenes".  The chicken products affected were processed and sold in a variety of different packages - although all of them are under the Tyson-brand name.  A full list of the affected sub-categories is available by clicking here, but in general they include packages containing whole chicken breasts, diced chicken breasts, and chicken strips for fajitas. These particular Tyson ready-to-eat chicken products "were shipped nationwide to retailers and institutions, including hospitals, nursing facilities, restaurants, schools, and Department of Defense locations".

FSIS

The products involved in the recall were produced between December 26, 2020 and April 13, 2021.  Each of the packages contain the establishment number "EST. P-7089" inside the USDA mark of inspection.

Recall efforts were commenced following two reports of individuals becoming sick with Listeriosis on June 9, 2021.  The FSIS collaborated with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state public health partners to produce evidence linking the Listeria Monocytogenes cases with the ready-to-eat chicken sold by Tyson Foods, Inc. "The epidemiologic investigation identified three listeriosis illnesses, including one death, between April 6, 2021 and June 5, 2021."

The common symptoms of Listeriosis include:

  • Confusion
  • Convulsions
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Headaches
  • Loss of balance
  • Muscle aches
  • Stiff neck

Serious and sometimes fatal complications can arise with Listeriosis - especially with older population.  "In pregnant women, the infection can cause miscarriages, stillbirths, premature delivery, or life-threatening infection of the newborn".

FSIS

While the Tyson chicken products were sold as ready-to-eat, officials are concerned that many of the packages may exist in the freezers of personal and commercial food industry (restaurant) situations - due to their nature.  Consumers are urged to check their freezers and refrigerator's, compare any Tyson product in possession to the full list of recalled items, and then act accordingly.  The product should not be consumed; return the chicken to the place of purchase or throw it away.

Stephen Tanko

Food safety questions can be directed at the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline:  1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854). Additional information about food-related recalls can be found on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) website.

Stephen Tanko

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