Tyson Foods announced a voluntary recall of 8.5 million pounds of pre-cooked frozen chicken “out of an abundance of caution,” on Saturday. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said that the products have been linked to three cases of listeria and one death.
The specific products which could have been exposed to the bacteria were produced at a plant in Dexter, Missouri between December 26 and April 30 and were distributed throughout the United States including Puerto Rico, Tyson said. The products will be marked with the establishment code EST. P-7089. In addition to these products labeled with the Tyson brand and sold at grocery stores including Walmart, the company also recalled a number of private label products sold to food service and retail consumers. The company noted that no fresh chicken, raw frozen chicken, or chicken nuggets with the Tyson brand are being affected by this recall.
“We’re committed to providing safe, healthy food that people rely on every day,” said Scott Brooks, senior vice president with Tyson Foods in the press release. “We are taking this precautionary step out of an abundance of caution and in keeping with our commitment to safety.”
The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service listed the locations the product was sent to in its “High Class I” recall notice. These locations included “hospitals, nursing facilities, restaurants, schools and Department of Defense locations.”
The USDA press release explained that it was notified of two listeriosis cases on June 9, 2021 and that its Food Safety and Inspection Service worked with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and various state entities to link the disease to precooked Tyson chicken. According to the recall alert, the agencies are still working to determine if additional illnesses are linked to the recalled products.
The alert explained that food contaminated with the bacteria most commonly causes listeriosis in older adults, people with weak immune systems, and pregnant women and their newborn children. The disease can also cause miscarriages and other complications for pregnant women. Symptoms include “fever, muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions sometimes preceded by diarrhea or other gastrointestinal systems.”
The Food Safety and Inspection service asked consumers and institutions with the products to throw them away or return them to where they were purchased.