Approximately 20,446 pounds of fully-cooked chicken skewers that were sold at Costco, among other retailers, were recalled because of a risk of Listeria contamination. The products were imported into the United States by Montreal-based Expresco Foods and were sold in seven states including Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, and Texas, reports the Daily Hornet.
The USDA Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) discovered Listeria monocytogenes contamination in the course of routine import inspections. No illnesses or adverse events have been reported, to date.
The products are identifiable with the establishment number “36” in the Canadian Food Inspection Agency mark and the following information:
- 31-lb. packages of “WEST END CUISINE GRILLED MEDITERRANEAN STYLE CHICKEN SKEWERS HAND-MADE WITH CHICKEN BREAST” containing the UPC code 621588314947 with lot codes: 172562, 172640, 172571, and 172704.
- 09-lb. packages of “EXPRESCO GRILLED Garlic & Herb CHICKEN SKEWERS” containing the UPC code 621588315555 with lot codes: 172563, 172668, 172669, and 172670.
The recalled chicken skewers were packaged on August 9 and August 15, 2017. Consumers who bought these products should dispose of them or return them to the place of purchase.
Effects of Listeria Infection
Listeria bacteria can cause listeriosis, a serious infection that can be fatal in older adults, persons with weakened immune systems, and pregnant women and their newborns. If infection spreads to the nervous system, symptoms may include fever, muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions, as well as diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms. In pregnant women, listeriosis may cause miscarriages, stillbirths, premature delivery, or life-threatening infection of the newborn, according to ABC Eyewitness News.
Anyone who has eaten any of the recalled chicken and developed symptoms of Listeria infection should seek medical attention and alert their doctors about the possible exposure to the bacteria. FSIS and the company are concerned that some product may be frozen and in consumers’ freezers.
National law firm Parker Waichman LLP has extensive experience representing clients in product liability litigation. Our lawyers are actively reviewing lawsuits on behalf of individuals and are available to answer questions for anyone seeking information for a potential lawsuit.
What Causes Listeriosis?
Listeria monocytogenes is found in soil and water. Vegetable can become contaminated from the soil or from manure used as fertilizer. Animals may carry the bacteria and can contaminate meats and dairy products. Processed foods, such as soft cheeses and cold cuts, can be contaminated after processing. Unpasteurized (raw) milk or foods made from unpasteurized milk can be contaminated, reports WebMD.
Hands should be washed well after handling any of these products. The refrigerator or freezer or wherever the items were stored, should be cleaned with a mild bleach solution to kill any bacteria.
How Listeriosis is Diagnosed
Listeriosis is diagnosed based on a medical history and physical exam. The doctor will ask questions about symptoms, foods recently eaten, and work and home environments. A blood test or spinal test may be done to confirm the diagnosis. Listeriosis is typically treated with antibiotics.
Listeriosis was added to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) list of nationally notifiable diseases in 2001. Each year in the United States, 1,600 people become sick and 260 die after being exposed to listeria. Listeria can contaminate food products at manufacturing facilities through raw materials, equipment, or other means. If manufacturers are not vigilant and fail to comply with proper safety protocols listeria can easily contaminate food products and lead to serious, sometimes life-threatening illness.
Steps to Avid Listeria Contamination
Consumers can take steps to avoid listeria contamination by cooking meat thoroughly, cleaning raw fruits and vegetables thoroughly before consumption, and not drinking unpasteurized milk. Washing hands, utensils and countertops after handling uncooked foods also reduces the risk of listeriosis.
Listeria is named after Dr. Joseph Lister, an English surgeon who introduced sterilization into surgery. The mouthwash Listerine is also named after Dr. Lister.
For persons at high risk, it is recommended to: not heat hot dogs, cold cuts, other deli meats, or fermented or dry sausages unless they are cooked properly; no refrigerated meat spreads, pates, soft cheese (unless it is labeled as made with pasteurized milk); no refrigerated smoked seafood, unless it is in a cooked dish or it is canned, according to CNN.
Legal Advice for Food Contamination Issues
Parker Waichman has years of experience representing clients in personal injury lawsuits. If you or someone you know has been affected by a food contamination issue, you may have valuable legal rights. We urge you to contact the Parker Waichman food poisoning attorneys at 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).