Food Safety and Inspection Service Issues Public Health Alert For Chicken Strips Products Due To Possible Listeria Contamination
By Julie Schwartz, fsis.usda.gov
On January 7, 2017, the US Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is issuing a public health alert due to concerns that ready to eat chicken strips products produced by House of Raeford, a Mocksville, North Carolina establishment, may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. A recall was not requested because it is believed that all products have now been consumed.
The ready to eat, fully cooked, chicken breast strips items were produced and packaged on September 29, 2016 and served to consumers in December, 2016.
These items were shipped to a distributor in Cleveland, Ohio and then shipped to various restaurants in the area as part of fajita or gyro dishes.
The problem was discovered during routine testing by the establishment. There have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about an illness should contact a health care provider.
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 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. Listeriosis is treated with antibiotics. Persons in the higher-risk categories who experience flu-like symptoms within two months after eating contaminated food should seek medical care and tell the health care provider about eating the contaminated food.
FSIS advises all consumers to reheat ready-to-eat product until steaming hot.
Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.
Consumers with food safety questions can “Ask Karen,” the FSIS virtual representative available 24 hours a day at AskKaren.gov or via smartphone at m.askkaren.gov. The toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline, 1.888.MPHotline (1.888.674.6854), is available in English and Spanish, 10am-4pm (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday.
The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service is “…responsible for ensuring that the nation’s commercial supply of meat, poultry, and egg products is safe, wholesome, and correctly labeled and packaged.”