Monday, October 26, 2015

Grocery Chain Recalls Deli Salad Items Due to Listeria Positive Samples

Whole Foods recalled various deli salads including chicken and pasta salad made at their central kitchen in Massachusetts.  Product was made on the 16th with a sell-by-date of the 23rd.
At the time of the recall, the product had already reached its expiration date.

A few things to note - the notice states that a sampling of the products tested positive which indicates more than one product.  Whether or not that is the case, they do have Listeria within the facility and there should be a question of whether it is under control.  Commissary operations may or may not do extensive testing for Listeria, mainly because the shelf-life is so short.  Since this product is one day beyond the Food Code limitation of 7 days (day one is the day product is made), there should be controls in place.  Also, since this is a dual jurisdiction plant (both FDA and USDA have oversight), from a USDA perspective of a facility with RTE product and post-lethality exposure, some testing should be taking place.

When Listeria is found on product, there is a high probability that it will still be in the environment unless there is a good explanation why contamination was limited to that day.  Hopefully before this facility restarts, they conduct ample cleaning and verification testing prior to starting production.

No illnesses have been reported...yet.  With Whole Genome Sequencing, further analysis of the LM found in the facility can now be matched against cases of Listeria infection that have occurred throughout the region.

USDA Recall Notice
Whole Foods Market Recalls Curry Chicken Salad Product Due To Possible Listeria Adulteration
Class I Recall 131-2015
Health Risk: High Oct 24, 2015

En EspaƱol
Congressional and Public Affairs  Julie Schwartz   (202) 720-9113

WASHINGTON, Oct. 24, 2015 – A Whole Foods Market establishment located in Everett, Mass. is recalling approximately 234 pounds of curry chicken salad products that may be adulterated with Listeria monocytogenes, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

The chicken curry salad was packaged on Oct. 16, 2015, and was sold prepackaged, in salad bars, in store's chef's cases, and in sandwiches and wraps prepared in the stores. The following products are subject to recall: [Labels (PDF Only)]

Sold by weight “Curry Chicken Salad, Our Chef’s Own” bearing UPC Code # 285551.
Sold by weight “Curry Chicken Salad CC” bearing UPC Code # 261068.
Sold by weight “PPK Salad Chicken Curry” bearing UPC Code # 263142
12 oz. “Curry Chicken Salad Wrap, Made Right Here” bearing UPC Code # 263144.
7 oz. “Single Curry Chicken Salad Wrap, Made Right Here” bearing UPC Code # 263126.
7 oz. “Curry Chicken Salad Rollup” bearing UPC Code # 265325.

These items have a sell by date of Oct. 23, 2015 and were shipped to a warehouse and retail locations in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island.

The problem was discovered when FSIS was notified of sample testing results performed by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. There have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products.

Consumption of food adulterated by 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 adulterated food should seek medical care and tell the health care provider about eating the adulterated food.

FSIS and the company are concerned that some product may be at home in consumers' freezers or refrigerators.

Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.

Related items, including the Whole Foods Class Deli Pasta Salad, have been listed for recall on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s website at

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

FSIS advises all consumers to reheat ready-to-eat product until steaming hot.

Media and consumers with questions regarding the recall can contact Heather McCready, Public Relations Manager, at (617) 492-5500.

Consumers with food safety questions can "Ask Karen," the FSIS virtual representative available 24 hours a day at or via smartphone at 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:

FDA Recall Notice
Whole Foods Market Recalls Curry Chicken Salad and Classic Deli Pasta Salad in Seven States Due to Possible Listeria Contamination
October 23, 2015
Contact  Consumers 617-492-5500

Media Heather McCready
Firm Press Release View Product Photos

Whole Foods Market of Cambridge, Massachusetts, is recalling bulk and packaged Curry Chicken Salad and Classic Deli Pasta Salad sold in stores in ME, NH, MA, RI, CT, NY and NJ because it has the potential to be contaminated with Listeria Monocytogenes, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women. Consumers should seek immediate medical care if they develop these symptoms.

No illnesses have been reported.

The salads were sold prepackaged, in salad bars, in store's chef's cases and in sandwiches and wraps prepared in the stores. The effected products were sold in stores between October 18 and October 22, 2015 and have a "sell by" date of October 23, 2015. The recalled items include:

UPC CodeProduct DescriptionLot Code285551 Curry Chicken Salad, Our Chef’s Own, sold by weight Sell by 10/23/15
263144 Curry Chicken Salad Wrap, Made Right Here, sold by weight, 12oz Sell by 10/23/15
263126 Single Curry Chicken Salad Wrap, Made Right Here, 7oz Sell by 10/23/15
261068 Curry Chicken Salad CC, sold by weight Sell by 10/23/15
263142 PPK Salad Chicken Curry, sold by weight Sell by 10/23/15
265325 Curry Chicken Salad Rollup, 7oz Sell by 10/23/15
260976 Classic Deli Pasta Salad, Sold by weight Sell by 10/23/15
270742 FP Pasta Salad Classic Deli, sold by weight Sell by 10/23/15
0 36406 30001 7 Classic Deli Pasta Salad, 6oz Sell by 10/23/15
0 36406 30264 6 Classic Deli Pasta Salad, 14 oz Sell by 10/23/15

A sampling of the products tested positive for Listeria Monocytogenes during a routine inspection of Whole Foods Market's North Atlantic Kitchen facility.

Consumers who have purchased this product from Whole Foods Market should discard it and bring their receipt to the store for a full refund. Consumers with questions should contact their local store or call 617-492-5500 between the hours of 9am and 5pm EST.

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