The following is a press release from the USDA FSIS on a recall by Tip Top Poultry of fully cooked poultry products due to the possibility of Listeria contamination. This is Class I health hazard situation where there is a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death.
WASHINGTON, August 20, 2019 – Tip Top Poultry, Inc., a Rockmart, Ga. establishment, is recalling approximately 135,810 pounds of fully cooked poultry products that may be adulterated with Listeria monocytogenes, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.
The frozen, diced, and mechanically separated ready to eat chicken was produced on January 21, 2019, and display “PACK DATE 01/21/19” on the labels. The products subject to recall can be found in this spreadsheet.
The products subject to recall bear establishment number “P-17453” inside the USDA mark of inspection or on the case. These items were shipped to hotels, restaurants, and institutions nationwide.
The problem was discovered on August 17, 2019, when the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) notified FSIS that a sample of product produced by Tip Top Poultry, Inc. confirmed positive for the presence of Listeria monocytogenes.
Canadian public health and food safety partners, including the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, have been investigating an outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes. A ready-to-eat diced chicken product collected as part of the investigation tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes. The investigation is ongoing.
Consumption of food contaminated with L. 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 outside these risk groups are affected.
Listeriosis can cause fever, muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions sometimes preceded by diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms. An invasive infection spreads beyond the gastrointestinal tract. In pregnant women, the infection can cause miscarriages, stillbirths, premature delivery or life-threatening infection of the newborn. In addition, 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 two months after eating contaminated food should seek medical care and tell the health care provider about eating the contaminated food.
FSIS is concerned that some product may be in institutional freezers. Institutions who have purchased these products are urged not to serve them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.
FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers. When available, the retail distribution list(s) will be posted on the FSIS website at www.fsis.usda.gov/recalls.
Consumers with questions regarding the recall can contact Terry Bruce, Senior V.P., Operational Quality, Tip Top Poultry, at (770) 973-8070.
Consumers with food safety questions can “Ask Karen,” the FSIS virtual representative available 24 hours a day at AskKaren.gov or via smartphone at m.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 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a day. The online Electronic Consumer Complaint Monitoring System can be accessed 24 hours a day at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/reportproblem.