Recall of chicken breast strips product in the U.S.
due to possible contamination with Listeria monocytogenes
On 18 February 2007, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced that the food manufacturer, Carolina Culinary Foods, was recalling a fully cooked ready-to-eat chicken breast strips product that might be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.
The recalled product was manufactured for "Oscar Mayer" Detailed product information is shown as below:
- 6-ounce packages of "OSCAR MAYER/LOUIS RICH CHICKEN BREAST STRIPS WITH RIB MEAT, GRILLED, FULLY COOKED - READY TO EAT". The front of each package bears the establishment number "P-19676" inside the USDA mark of inspection. On the back of each package appears a "Use by" date of "19 Apr 2007".
According to the FSIS, there have been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of these products to date.
Actions Taken by the CFS
The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) has made an appeal to the trade to stop selling the same batch of affected products and the public not to consume them. The CFS has contacted the U.S. authority for further details. In liaising with the trade and follow-up inspections, the CFS found that the food product was on sale but the affected batch was not found in the local market. The CFS will continue to closely monitor the situation.
What is Listeria monocytogenes?
Listeria monocytogenes can cause a foodborne disease known as listeriosis. Symptoms after exposure to this bacteria may include fever, headache, vomiting and diarrhoea but healthy individuals rarely develop symptoms. However, the effect on high-risk individuals like pregnant women, newborns, the elderly and people with weakened immunity can be severe. The infection can result in bacterial invasion of blood and the brain, miscarriage, stillbirth or premature birth in severe cases. Listeria are rather unique in the sense that they can multiply in refrigerated foods that are contaminated.
Prepared salads, unpasteurised milk and their products, soft cheese, smoked and raw seafood, cold meats, pate, etc. are regarded as high-risk foods, as the bacteria are more frequently found in them. Susceptible individuals including pregnant women, newborns, the elderly and people with weakened immunity should avoid these high-risk foods.
Advice to the Trade
- Stop selling the affected products of the same batch.
Advice to Consumers
- Consumers who have purchased the affected products should stop consuming them.
- They should seek medical advice if symptoms develop.
Further information about the incident can be obtained from the following webpages:
Centre for Food Safety
Food and Environmental Hygiene Department
22 February 2007