USDA Announces Recall on Tyson Foods Inc. Ready-To-Eat Chicken Products For Potential Listeria Contamination
On July 3, 2021, The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) Tyson Foods Inc., of Dexter, Mo., announced Tyson Foods Inc.’s recall of some 8,955,296 pounds of ready-to-eat (RTE) chicken products due to a potential contamination with Listeria monocytogenes. This recall is considered a Class-I recall according to the USDA, meaning “there is a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death”.
The recalled products are frozen, fully-cooked chicken products. All the products included in the recall were produced between December 26, 2020 and April 13, 2021 and bear the establishment number “EST. P-7089” on its packaging or inside the USDA mark of inspection. A complete list of the recalled items and their labels can be found here.
FSIS and Tyson Foods Inc. became aware of the issue when they were notified on June 9, 2021, that two people had become ill with listeriosis. After further investigation, in cooperation with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state public health departments, FSIS found epidemiological evidence indicating that these people became ill after consuming Tyson Foods RTE chicken products adulterated with listeria monocytogenes. In addition, a routine food safety inspection conducted by the FSIS found that two samples of Tyson Foods precooked Chicken from two different locations contained listeria monocytogenes closely genetically related to that of the strain which caused illness in the two people mentioned above.
FSIS, as well as federal and state health departments continue to investigate this outbreak and monitor the situation. Anyone who has purchased the recalled Tyson Foods RTE Chicken products should discard them immediately or return them to their place of purchase.
Listeriosis can cause serious illness in people with weakened immune systems and the elderly. It can also pose a serious threat of miscarriage to expectant mothers.
The massive scale of this recall points to a larger concern which is the inevitable threat to food safety brought about by the speed and quantity at which companies, such as Tyson Foods Inc., process their poultry and meat. The frequency of these large scale recalls reveal a need to revisit the production standards and protocols which we hold the poultry and meat processors to.
For current information on the status of this recall, you can visit the USDA’s website here.