Hundreds of recalled products were sold at Trader Joe's, Aldi, Giant, IGA, Food Lion, Kroger, and more.

By Betty Gold
October 11, 2019
FoxysGraphic

Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service announced a major recall on an undetermined amount of ready-to-eat chicken products from Georgia-based food producer Tip Top Poultry. Items affected by the recall include sandwiches, wraps, salads, and other dishes made with chicken that may contain Listeria monocytogenes

These frozen cooked, diced or shredded, ready-to-eat chicken items were produced between January 21, 2019 and September 24, 2019. (All of the potentially dangerous products subject to the recall can be found in this spreadsheet.) They all have the establishment number “Est. P-17453” inside the USDA mark of inspection and were shipped to institutions nationwide in the United States and Canada. 

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Markets selling the chicken products being recalled include Trader Joe’s, Aldi, Giant, IGA, Food Lion, Kroger, Harris Teeter, Dillons, Food 4 Less, Piggly Wiggly, Redners Warehouse Market, and more. Among the hundreds of affected products are Great Value Butter Chicken Spring Rolls, Knott’s Fine Foods Chicken Salad, Nutrisystem Three Cheese Chicken, Duke Chicken Salad, Clean Eatz Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese, and Private Selection Butter Chicken Spring Rolls. 

Additionally, five items from Trader Joe’s are affected:
•    Trader Joes Chicken Pot Pie SKU 093809 with lot codes 100219-100619 and package code of 10/2/19-10/6/2019 with Establishment P-34309
•    Trader Joes Field Fresh Chopped Salad with Chicken SKU 099050 with lot codes 100219- 100619 and package code of 10/2/19-10/6/2019 with Establishment P-34309
•    Trader Joes Pesto Chicken Wrap SKU 092018 with lot codes 100219-100619 and package code of 10/2/19-10/6/2019 with Establishment P-34309
•    Trader Joes White Meat Chicken Salad SKU 0980913 with lot codes 100219-100619 and package code of 10/2/19-10/6/2019 with Establishment P-34309
•    Trader Joes Pesto Chicken Wrap: Lot code 92819 through 100819; Use by 9/28/19 through 10/08/19

The potential contamination was found when the FSIS was notified that testing on the chicken products confirmed positive for the presence of Listeria monocytogenes. Tip Top Poultry has opted to recall all cooked, diced or shredded, RTE chicken products produced from January 21, 2019 through September 24, 2019 with product codes ranging from 10000 to 19999 and 70000 to 79999. The producer later chose to expand the dates and the scope of the recall out of an abundance of caution.

"Tip Top Poultry is shutting down this fowl cooking line until it identifies the source of any potential contamination and completely eliminates it," the company stated on their website.

The good news is that there have not been any reports of health problems or adverse reactions due to consumption of these products to date. Anyone concerned about an injury or illness should contact a healthcare provider.  

According to the USDA, “Listeriosis can cause fever, muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions sometimes preceded by diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms. An invasive infection spreads beyond the gastrointestinal tract. In pregnant women, the infection can cause miscarriages, stillbirths, premature delivery or life-threatening infection of the newborn. In addition, serious and sometimes fatal infections in older adults and persons with weakened immune systems. Listeriosis is treated with antibiotics. Persons in the higher-risk categories who experience flu-like symptoms within two months after eating contaminated food should seek medical care and tell the health care provider about eating the contaminated food.” 

As mentioned, those with weakened immune systems, pregnant women, and older adults should remain particularly cautious, as these populations are most susceptible to listeria infection. 

Unfortunately, the Food Safety and Inspection Service is concerned that the recalled chicken products may be in institutional and consumers’ refrigerators and freezers. “Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them and institutions that have purchased these products are urged not to serve them,” they say in their report. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.   

Consumers with food safety questions can "Ask Karen," the FSIS virtual representative available 24 hours a day at AskKaren.gov or via smartphone at m.askkaren.gov. The toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) is available in English and Spanish and can be reached from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a day. The online Electronic Consumer Complaint Monitoring System can be accessed 24 hours a day at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/reportproblem.

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