USDA Expands Ready-To-Eat Chicken Product Recall Over Listeria Concerns

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced, earlier this week, a recall on prepared chicken products. This is actually an expansion of a recall that was originally issued roughly two weeks ago. The original recall—and now the expansion as well—was issued out of concern over listeria contamination. 

The original recall reached the public on September 28 when a Rockmart, GA company called Tip Top Poultry advised that some of their ready-to-eat poultry products “that may be adulterated with Listeria monocytogenes.”  

As a matter of fact, the notice lists this as a “Class I Recall” signaling a “health hazard situation where there is a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious adverse health consequences or death,” as described the by the USDA.  

Furthermore, the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) goes on to describe that some symptoms of a listeriosis infection include “fever, muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and convulsions sometimes preceded by diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms,” which can be significantly dangerous to women who are pregnant.  After all, pregnant women infected with this bacteria can experience stillbirth, miscarriage, premature delivery, or even life-threatening infection in the newborn. 

While all of this is certainly concerning, the good news is that no reports of sickness in relation to these products have been confirmed.  It is fortunate, however, that listeriosis can be treated with antibiotics and most people recover quite easily. 

To be certain that any chicken products you may have recently purchased are safe to eat, you should know that the original products were sold at Target and Trader Joe’s with the expansion now including Aldi and Weis stores in New York, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.  Apparently, the recall also includes products sold at Food Lion and Great Harvest Bread Company, even Kroger stores. 

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