A Massachusetts manufacturer is recalling a variety of chicken salads due to the potential to contain Listeria. The contamination was found through testing conducted by New Hampshire and Massachusetts Public Health Departments. No illnesses were reported. The containers were primarily foodservice sized units. Distribution is limited to NH and MA.
This is the second recall announced within the last week for these salad based products, the other being the Reser’s recall.
In September, Garden Fresh of Wisconsin also issued a recall for similar products (chicken and ham salads) . On 10/25/13, that recall was expanded to include 103,000 additional pounds.
These items are problematic for two reasons…the amount of processing after the cooking step (chopping / slicing / blending) and the fact the products are stored and shipped refrigerated with presumably a long shelf-life. So if Listeria is there, the potential exists for the organism to grow at refrigeration temperatures during storage.
Many of us love those types of products – especially chicken and potato salad - but with these recalls, I think I will be searching out ‘freshly made’.
USDA Recall Notice
Massachusetts Firm Recalls USDA-Regulated Ready-To-Eat Products for Possible Listeria Contamination
Class I Recall 061-2013
Health Risk: High Oct 24, 2013
WASHINGTON, Oct. 24, 2013 – Boston Salads and Provisions Company, Inc., a Boston, Mass., establishment, is recalling approximately 222,959 pounds of ready-to-eat chicken salad products due to possible contamination with Listeria monocytogenes (Lm), the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.
The products were produced between Aug. 23, 2013, and Oct. 14, 2013, and shipped to wholesalers for further distribution to retail locations in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. The products subject to recall include: [label]
Complete List of Products
Case labels or packaging may bear the sell by dates ranging from “9/13/2013” through “11/4/2013” as well as the establishment number “P-17999” inside the USDA mark of inspection. Although product included in this recall may be expired, FSIS is concerned that some product may be frozen in consumer or retail freezers.
The problem was discovered when the New Hampshire Department of Public Health (NHDPH) determined that two non-intact samples tested positive for Lm with matching PFGE patterns. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MADPH) was alerted to these findings and tested intact samples of product, with two testing positive for Lm with matching PFGE patterns. MADPH then alerted FSIS of the positive results. The firm’s investigation has identified a likely source of the contamination. FSIS is continuing to work with federal and state public health partners on this investigation, including the U.S. Health and Human Services’ Food and Drug Administration and the MADPH and NHDPH.
FSIS and the company have not received reports of illnesses due to consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about an illness should contact a healthcare provider.
Consumption of food contaminated with L. monocytogenes can cause listeriosis, a serious infection that primarily affects older adults, persons with weakened immune systems, and pregnant women and their newborns. Less commonly, persons outside these risk groups are affected.
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.
FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers. When available, the retail distribution list(s) will be posted on the FSIS website at www.fsis.usda.gov/recalls.
Consumers and media with questions about the recall should contact the Sales Department of Boston Salads at (617) 307-6340, ext. 21.
Consumers with food safety questions can “Ask Karen,” the FSIS virtual representative available 24 hours a day at 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 l0 a.m. to 4 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.