Approximately two million pounds of ready-to-eat chicken products have been recalled because they might be contaminated with dangerous bacteria. Although 17,439 pounds of chicken products were included in the initial recall, the officials from the National Steak and Poultry decided to expand it to 1,993,528 pounds on Sunday.
The problem is that the chicken might be undercooked, so it probably contains potentially harmful bacteria. Even if no cases have been reported, the products were distributed in multiple locations across the country.
According to the USDA officials, they were also sold to retail consumers. The company became aware of the possible contamination after a consumer complained that the chicken seemed to be undercooked.
After the recall was publicly announced, the USDA immediately classified it as a Class I recall. This type of recall is considered to be the most serious because it refers to a health risk situation where the consumption of the recalled products might cause severe symptoms related to foodborne illnesses.
The ready-to-eat chicken products included in the recall are those with case code 70020 and lot code 100416 as well as case code 702113 and lot code 100416. The recalled chicken products were produced between August 20th, 2016 and November 30, 2016. Also, the USDA officials say that the cases have the establishment number P-601T.
Customers are urged to discard these products or to return them to the market for a full refund. According to the experts, not just undercooked products can contain dangerous bacteria, but also frozen fruits and vegetables, ice cream, and other products.
The foods sometimes get contaminated with salmonella or listeria monocytogenes. Infected persons usually experience flu-like symptoms, such as diarrhea, nausea, abdominal cramps, muscle aches, fever, and headaches.
In the worst-case scenario, the infection can attack the brain causing confusion, neck stiffness, and even death. Those most at risk are pregnant women, children, seniors, and people with weak immune systems.
Therefore, public health specialists strongly recommend consumers to thoroughly cook food at high temperatures and avoid thawing it in the microwaves because the heat is uneven and some bacteria might survive.
For additional information about the recalled ready-to-eat chicken products, customers can reach the USDA official recall page.
Image Source: Wikipedia