FSIS Issues Public Health Alert for Recalled, Imported Frozen "Butter Chicken With Basmati Rice" Meals

Congressional and Public Affairs
(202) 720-9113
Richard J. McIntire

WASHINGTON, Nov. 30, 2012 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is alerting the public of a recall being conducted by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Canadian Establishment 720, Aliya's Foods Limited, for approximately 4,865 pounds of frozen butter chicken and rice products imported from Canada that may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

Recommendations for people at risk for Listeriosis

Wash hands with warm, soapy water before and after handling raw meat and poultry for at least 20 seconds. Wash cutting boards, dishes and utensils with hot, soapy water. Immediately clean spills.

Keep raw meat, fish and poultry away from other food that will not be cooked. Use separate cutting boards for raw meat, poultry and egg products and cooked foods.

Do not eat hot dogs, luncheon meats, bologna or other deli meats unless reheated until steaming hot.

Do not eat refrigerated paté, meat spreads from a meat counter or smoked seafood found in the refrigerated section of the store. Foods that don't need refrigeration, like canned tuna and canned salmon, are safe to eat. Refrigerate after opening.

Do not drink raw (unpasteurized) milk and do not eat foods that have unpasteurized milk in them.

Do not eat salads made in the store such as ham salad, chicken salad, egg salad, tuna salad or seafood salad.

Do not eat soft cheeses such as Feta, quesco blanco, quesco fresco, Brie, Camembert cheeses, blue-veined cheeses and Panela unless it is labeled as made with pasteurized milk.

Use precooked or ready-to-eat food as soon as you can. Listeria can grow in the refrigerator. The refrigerator should be 40° F or lower and the freezer 0° F or lower. Use an appliance thermometer to check the temperature of your refrigerator.
CFIA oversees the recall in Canada and FSIS is overseeing the effectiveness in the United States. FSIS will verify that those companies who have received product from the Canadian-initiated recall have been notified and have removed product from commerce, and will take appropriate action if prohibited activity is found.

Products imported to the United States include:
  • 12.5 oz boxes of "Trader Joe's Butter Chicken with Basmati Rice" with product code "2012-10-31" and lot code "30512"

The product being recalled is considered ready-to-eat (RTE) and subject to pathogen testing since FSIS has zero-tolerance for pathogens in RTE foods at time of production, even if that food requires heating for proper serving.

While 19 cartons of product are on hold at the distribution center, 240 cartons have been distributed to Trader Joe's retail stores. Trader Joe's has contacted these stores directly and instructed them to pull the recalled product off the shelf.

FSIS is concerned that consumers may have received or purchased this product but have not yet been notified about the recall. The retail distribution list will be updated as information is gathered, and is posted on FSIS' website at: www.fsis.usda.gov/FSIS_Recalls/Open_Federal_Cases/index.asp .

Consumers with questions about this product should contact Trader Joe's at (626) 599-3817. Media inquiries should be directed to Alison Mochizuki with Trader Joe's at at (626) 599-3779.

FSIS reminds consumers of the critical importance of following package cooking instructions for frozen or fresh products and general food safety guidelines when handling and preparing any raw meat or poultry.

Consumption of food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes can cause listeriosis, a serious infection that primarily affects older adults, persons with weakened immune systems, and pregnant women and their newborns. Less commonly, persons without these risk factors can be affected.
Listeriosis can cause fever, headache, neck stiffness, and muscle aches, often preceded by diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms. Listeriosis can also cause miscarriages and stillbirths, as well as serious and sometimes fatal infections in older adults and persons with weakened immune systems. Listeriosis is treated with antibiotics. Persons in the higher-risk categories who experience flu-like symptoms within 2 months after eating contaminated food should seek a health care provider.

Consumers with food safety questions can "Ask Karen," the FSIS virtual representative available 24 hours a day at AskKaren.gov. The toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) is available in English and Spanish and can be reached from l0 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a day.
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Last Modified Jul 22, 2013