Pilgrim’s Pride Recalls Chicken Products for Listeria

Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation just announced that it has issued a voluntary recall of two of its products from foodservice distributors over concerns about potential contamination with Listeria monocytogenes, a dangerous and sometimes fatal foodborne pathogen.

The products were not directly shipped to grocery stores, but were produced at two separate Pilgrim’s Pride facilities.

According to a MarketWatch report, the following products are involved in the recall:

• 390 pounds of Fully Cooked Grilled Chicken Breast Fillets with Rib Meat that were distributed through a foodservice distribution center in Columbus, Ohio in 30-pound cases are involved in this recall. All but five cases (150 pounds) have been accounted for and all of the restaurants that received the product have been advised. The recalled chicken breast fillets bear the item code 4250, a code date of 1180, and a use-by date of December 26, 2011. This product was produced at the Pilgrim’s Pride plant located in Waco, Texas.

• 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 are also involved in this recall. The potentially contaminated white chicken nuggets are packaged in 10-pound cases and bear the item code 93804 and a code date of 1147. This product was produced at the Pilgrim’s Pride plant located in Mt. Pleasant, Texas. Pilgrim’s has contacted all of the impacted distribution centers.

To date, Pilgrim’s Pride has not received any reports of illness or adverse reaction in connection with these two recalled products; however, it is important to note that it can take some time for symptoms to manifest in foodborne infections. Pilgrim’s Pride can be reached, toll-free, at 1.800.321.1470.

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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