Tyson Foods Inc. is recalling nearly 34,000 pounds of mechanically separated chicken products due to possible Salmonella contaminant. The chicken parts were not shipped to supermarkets for customers, but instead it was intended for use in institutions and had been already shipped to California, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Nevada, New Jersey, Ohio and Wisconsin.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and Tyson Foods said they were voluntarily recalling the 40-pound cases of chicken. The products were produced on Oct. 11, 2013. The product can be identified by the establishment code P-13556, which is located inside the USDA mark of inspection, as well as with the code date 2843SDL1412-18. The product cases can be identified by code 17433-928 which is printed on the exterior label.
The recall was issued after FSIS was made aware of people at a Tennessee correctional facility was infected with the particular strain, Salmonella Heidelberg, on Dec. 12, 2013. After some investigation and working with the Tennessee Department of Health, results show that seven patients at the facility had been sickened by the bacteria between Nov 29, 2013 to Dec 5, 2013, two of them required hospitalization.
This is not the first time Tyson Foods Inc. has issued recalls. In 2012, over 67,000 pounds of their “Honey BBQ Flavored Boneless Chicken Wyngz” were recalled due to mis-branding and allergens that weren’t reported on the label. In 2013, about 127,000 pounds of uncooked breaded chicken tenderloins and uncooked chicken tenderloin fritter products, for the same reason.
The public can contact Tyson Consumer Relations department at 866-886-8456 with any questions or concerns.
According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), there are about 42,000 cases of salmonellosis that is reported each year in the United States. The CDC also states that the actual number of infections may be 29 or more times greater, as not all cases are diagnosed or reported.
People infected with Salmonella may develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection. The illness typically lasts 4 to 7 days.
A recent report from Consumer Reports showed that 97 percent of raw chicken breasts researchers tested had contained potentially harmful bacteria.
People can prevent salmonellosis by cooking poultry, ground beef and eggs thoroughly. When preparing meat, wash hands, kitchen work surfaces and utensils with soap and water after they come in contact with raw meat or poultry. Those in contact with infants should not handle raw poultry and meat at the same time.