More than 130,000 pounds of frozen chicken products are being recalled over fears that they may be contaminated with listeria monocytogenes.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) issued a recall notice for the frozen, fully cooked, diced chicken items that were packaged on Jan. 25, 2021; Jan. 26, 2021; March 23, 2021; and March 24, 2021.
The problem was first discovered through a routine FSIS inspection in which officials "observed products requiring recooking due to possible Lm contamination had been repackaged without being recooked," the agency said.
After a subsequent investigation, the agency concluded that other affected products "had been further distributed in commerce."
The affected products were distributed in individual food boxes to consumers at local food banks in Florida through the USDA Farmers to Families Food Box program. To help, the agency posted two separate distribution lists for consumers to be aware of.
Although there haven't been any reports of "adverse reactions due to consumption" the agency advises anyone with concerns about an illness to contact their health care provider.
Food contaminated with listeria monocytogenes can cause listeriosis if consumed, according to FSIS. The serious infection can primarily affect older adults, persons with weakened immune systems and pregnant women and their newborns, the agency said.
"Persons outside these risk groups" can also be affected, although it is less common, FSIS said. Symptoms can include fever, muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions, and in some cases even lead to diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms.
Consumers are urged to throw out any of the recalled products. The agency said that any ready-to-eat product should be reheated until it's "steaming hot."