One person has died and three others remain hospitalized from a listeria outbreak tied to recently recalled fully cooked chicken, according to federal health officials.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) posted a warning notice online, which was last updated July 9, noting that there have been three illnesses and one death reported in two states since its investigation linking "listeria monocytogenes illnesses to precooked chicken produced at Tyson Foods Inc." started in June.
|TYSON FOODS INC.
The reported death occurred sometime between April 6 and June 5, 2021, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service's (FSIS) recall notice.
The two agencies are working together after FSIS received reports on June 9 that two people fell ill with listeriosis.
"During routine sample collection, FSIS collected two precooked chicken samples from two establishments that are closely related genetically to Listeria monocytogenes from ill people," FSIS wrote. "One of the samples was collected at Tyson Foods Inc."
According to the CDC, listeria can cause severe illnesses called "invasive listeriosis," which is when bacteria spreads to other parts of the body. Symptoms of the severe illness can start anywhere between one to four weeks after eating the contaminated foods and even start as late as 10 weeks after consumption, the CDC said.
Those with weakened immune systems, anyone who is at least 65 years old and women who are pregnant "are at higher risk for severe illness," the CDC said.
In light of the reported illnesses, Tyson Foods recalled more than 8.9 million pounds of ready-to-eat chicken products "that may be adulterated with Listeria monocytogenes," according to FSIS.
Tyson said there is "no conclusive evidence that the products were contaminated at the time of shipment." However, the company still issued the recall "out of an abundance of caution."
"We’re committed to providing safe, healthy food that people rely on every day," said Scott Brooks, Tyson Foods' senior vice president of food safety and quality assurance. "We are taking this precautionary step out of an abundance of caution and in keeping with our commitment to safety."
Originally, the company had recalled approximately 8.5 million pounds but upped its recall by 500,000 pounds just last week. All of the recalled products – listed here – were produced at a Dexter, Missouri, plant between Dec. 26, 2020, and April 13, 2021, according to Tyson's voluntary recall notice.