|Food Safety and Inspection
United States Department of Agriculture
Washington, D.C. 20250-3700
Congressional and Public Affairs
(202) 720-9113; FAX: (202) 690-0460
cell phone: (202) 812-4417
WASHINGTON, Oct. 6--The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service is warning the public that approximately 7,640 pounds of barbecued chickens that may be adulterated with Listeria monocytogenes, produced by House of Raeford Farms, Inc., a Raeford, N.C., firm, is in commerce.
The House of Raeford has failed to comply with FSIS' request for a voluntary recall of the product. FSIS is warning the public and distributors and has begun detaining the product in known locations. FSIS does not have authority to require a recall.
The product is House of Raeford brand "Fully Cooked BARBECUED CHICKEN" packaged for retail sales. The product labels bear establishment number "P-239" inside the USDA seal of inspection, and a code of "18808" also appears on the packages.
The ready-to-eat, barbecued chickens were produced on Aug. 22, and distributed to North Carolina, Massachusetts, and Arizona. The chickens bear packaging date codes of 237, 241, 242, 258, and 263.
"I want the public to be aware of the situation presented by these chickens that could pose a health hazard," said Thomas J. Billy, FSIS administrator. Because of the potential for foodborne illness, USDA urges consumers who have purchased the suspect products not to eat them.
The problem was discovered through routine FSIS microbiological sampling.
Consumption of food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes can cause listeriosis, an uncommon but potentially fatal disease. Healthy people rarely contract listeriosis. Listeriosis can cause high fever, severe headache, neck stiffness, and nausea. Listeriosis can also cause miscarriages and stillbirths, as well as serious and sometimes fatal infections in those with weak immune systems--infants, the frail or elderly, and persons with chronic disease, with HIV infection, or taking chemotherapy.
FSIS has received no reports of illness associated with consumption of this product. Anyone concerned about an illness should contact a physician.
Consumers with food safety questions can phone the toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-800-535-4555. The hotline can be reached from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday, and recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a day.
NOTE: Access news releases and other information at the FSIS Web site at http://www.fsis.usda.gov
LISTERIA PRECAUTIONSPeople at risk for listeriosis and their family members or individuals preparing food for them should:
Reheat until steaming hot the following types of ready-to-eat foods: hot dogs, luncheon meats, cold cuts, fermented and dry sausage, and other deli-style meat and poultry products. Thoroughly reheating food can help kill any bacteria that might be present. If you cannot reheat these foods, do not eat them.
Wash hands with hot, soapy water after handling these types of ready-to-eat foods. (Wash for at least 20 seconds.) Also wash cutting boards, dishes, and utensils. Thorough washing helps eliminate any bacteria that might get on your hands or other surfaces from food before it is reheated.
Do not eat soft cheeses such as feta, Brie, Camembert, blue-veined or Mexican-style cheese. You can eat hard cheeses, processed cheeses, cream cheese, cottage cheese, and yogurt.
Do not drink raw, unpasteurized milk or eat foods made from it, such as unpasteurized cheese.
Observe all expiration dates for perishable items that are precooked or ready-to-eat.
For Further Information, Contact:
FSIS Congressional and Public Affairs Staff
Phone: (202) 720-9113
Fax: (202) 690-0460
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