Pilgrim’s Pride Listeria Chicken Recall Expanded

Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation is expanding its recent recall of ready-to-eat chicken products for possible <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/topics/overview/listeria">Listeria contamination to include 7,072 more pounds of the product, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced.

The prior recall and this expanded recall are both deemed Class I recalls, the agency’s most serious and indicative of a health hazard situation in which there exists a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death.

Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation, of Mount Pleasant, Texas, issued the initial recall on July 20, 2011 over concerns that the chicken product might have been contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes pathogen. The expanded recall now includes 16-pound boxes containing 8 2-pound bags of “Pilgrim’s Pride Fully Cooked Chicken Breast Breaded Nugget Shaped Patties with Rib Meat.”

The Chicken Breast Nugget Shaped Patties have a date code of 11531010 that was “ink jetted” on the box, a best-by date “JUN 02 2012,” and the establishment number “P-7091A” inside the USDA mark of inspection. Each 2-pound bag is marked with the date code and “P-7091A.” The products were produced on June 2, 2011, and shipped to a retail chain in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. The problem was discovered as a result of on-site internal testing at each establishment.

FSIS and Pilgrim’s Pride have not received any reports of illness in connection with the recalled chicken products; however, it can take some time for the effects of Listeria poisoning to manifest. Pilgrim’s Pride can be reached, via Cheri Schneider, toll-free, at 1.800.321.1470.

The original recall was for two products from foodservice distributors that were not directly shipped to grocery stores, but were produced at two separate Pilgrim’s Pride facilities: 390 pounds of Fully Cooked Grilled Chicken Breast Fillets with Rib Meat distributed through a foodservice distribution center in Columbus, Ohio in 30-pound cases and approximately 10,850 pounds of Sweet Georgia Brand Fully Cooked Breaded White Chicken Nuggets Shaped Patties sent to foodservice distributors in Long Valley, New Jersey and El Paso and San Antonio, Texas.

Consumption of food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes can cause listeriosis, which is potentially fatal. Listeriosis can cause high fever, severe headache, neck stiffness, abdominal cramps and pain, diarrhea, and nausea. Listeriosis can also cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in those with weakened immune systems, such as infants, the elderly, and persons with HIV infection or undergoing chemotherapy.

Pregnant women are 20 times likelier to be infected with listeriosis, which can kill fetuses, causing miscarriages and stillbirths in pregnant women. Listeriosis can also prompt premature births, can lead to hearing loss or brain damage in newborns, and can prompt neurological effects and cardio respiratory failure in adults. For susceptible populations, infection with the Listeria pathogen can also cause significant illnesses linked to the central nervous system, including in the developing fetus. Listeriosis infects about 2,500 people in the U.S., killing 500 each year.

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