Tyson Foods is recalling approximately 8.5 million pounds of frozen, cooked chicken products for possible listeria contamination. The company and therefore the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service announced the recall Saturday night. The recall includes Tyson branded products and personal label products for restaurants, which include Jet’s Pizza, Casey’s country store, Marco’s Pizza, and tiny Caesars. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also issued a food safety alert saying the products – which were shipped nationwide to retailers and institutions including hospitals, nursing facilities, restaurants, and schools – could also be linked to a listeria outbreak that has caused three illnesses and one death. “We are taking this precautionary exit of an abundance of caution and keep with our commitment to safety,” said Scott Brooks, Tyson Foods senior vice chairman, food safety and quality assurance, during a news release.
According to Tyson Foods, the affected products were produced at one plant located in Dexter, Missouri, between Dec. 26 and April 13. an inventory of the retailers that sold the affected products wasn’t available Saturday and can be posted on the USDA website within the future, consistent with Tyson’s news release. The company said it’s been working with the USDA on the recall and said “while there’s no conclusive evidence that the products were contaminated at the time of shipment, the voluntary recall is being initiated out of an abundance of caution.” Each package of the recalled products has the establishment code P-7089. A full list of the recalled products is posted on the USDA website and Tysonfoods.com. The USDA said consumers shouldn’t eat the products and will throw them away or return them. The CDC advises businesses to not serve or sell the recalled products.
“No other Tyson products are impacted by the recall, including but not limited to any Tyson brand fresh chicken; frozen, raw chicken products or chicken nuggets,” the corporate said. Consumers with questions on the recall can call or text 1-855-382-3101, the corporate said, noting customer service representatives are going to be available beginning Sunday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CDT. consistent with the CDC, the three people that were sick during this outbreak ate foods served at a long-term care facility or hospital between April 6 and June 5. Two illnesses were in Texas and therefore the other case was in Delaware.
When two or more people get “the same illness from an equivalent contaminated food or drink, the event is named a foodborne disease outbreak,” the CDC says. Listeria can cause common gastrointestinal disorder symptoms, like diarrhea and fever, the CDC says. But it also can cause severe illness, referred to as invasive listeriosis when the bacteria spread beyond the gut to other parts of the body. Symptoms of a severe illness usually start one to four weeks after eating contaminated food, but symptoms can start as late as 10 weeks after. Adults 65 or older, pregnant women, and other people with weakened immune systems are at higher risk for severe illness from listeria, the CDC says.