Update: FSIS Warns “USDA Farmers to Families Food Box” Chicken may be Contaminated with Listeria
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is issuing a public health alert for about 130,860 pounds of chicken products that were distributed via local food banks in Florida through the “USDA Farmers to Families Food Box” program in individual food boxes which may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. Specific products affected include:
- 4-lb. plastic bags containing “FULLY COOKED CHICKEN MEAT ¾ DICED WHITE” with code 13530, Est. number P-18237, and pack dates of “01/25/2021” and “01/26/2021.”
- 4-lb. plastic bags containing “FULLY COOKED CHICKEN MEAT DARK/WHITE ¾ DICED” with code 16598, Est. number P-45638, and pack dates “24/MAR/2021” and “23/MAR/2021.”
The products bear establishment numbers “P-18237” or “P-45638” inside the USDA mark of inspection and were distributed by Big Daddy Foods, Inc., a Houston, Texas firm. FSIS issued this health alert on May 24, 2021.
How is Chicken Contaminated?
Bacterial contamination is the primary cause of food poisoning cases associated with chicken and other poultry products, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Preferring moist, protein-rich environments, foodborne pathogens like salmonella, E. coli and campylobacter thrive in the intestinal tracts of chickens during their lifetime, and continue to live even after the bird has been slaughtered. Additionally, the water and ice used to process chicken harbors bacteria and provides an ideal environment for contamination to spread.
Food Poisoning Symptoms
Symptoms of food poisoning may range from mild to severe, depending on the type of bacteria ingested. However, the most common signs of a foodborne illness include:
- Upset stomach
- Stomach cramps
How To Prevent Food Poisoning at Thanksgiving: WCVB Channel 5 Boston Video
Poultry Recalls Double Since 2013: Study
A study by the Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) in Jan. 2019 found that food poisoning recalls have increased overall by 10% since 2013, but with chicken and other hazardous meat products, there was an 83% increase in recalls during the same time frame. Other key findings from the study included:
- Outdated laws have allowed meat producers to sell contaminated products. Unbelievably, it is still legal to sell meat that tests positive for salmonella. A case study about a 2018 recall of more than 12 million pounds of ground beef produced by Arizona-based JBS Tolleson found that the incident could have been prevented with updated food production laws.
- Contaminated water used on produce was the source of a major E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce in 2018.
Chicken Recall Timeline
Arkansas Firm Recalls Chicken for Listeria (Nov. 8, 2019) – Simmons Prepared Foods, Inc., a Siloam, Arkansas-based company, is recalling more than 2 million pounds of chicken products across 8 states due to potential contamination with Listeria monocytogenes, according to an FSIS recall notice issued Wednesday. Affected foods were produced from Oct. 21 to Nov. 4, 2019, and distributed to the following states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Minnesota, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania.
The recalled chicken bears the establishment numbers “P-1949”, “P-486”, or “P-5837” inside the USDA mark of inspection, CPSC said. To date, no listeria infections or any other illnesses have been associated with the recall.
Ajinomoto Yakitori Chicken Fried Rice Recall (Nov. 22, 2019) – Oakland, Mississippi-based Ajinomoto Foods North America, Inc., recalled 172,692 pounds of chicken fried rice products over potential contamination with plastic pieces. The following products are subject to recall:
- 54-oz. cardboard packages containing “AJINOMOTO YAKITORI CHICKEN WITH JAPANESE-STYLE FRIED RICE” with date codes “3559007, 3559008, 3559015, 3559190 and 3559191” and best by dates of “1/7/2020, 1/8/2020, 1/15/2020, 7/9/2020 and 7/10/2020.”
Creative Food Processing Chicken Recall (Nov. 13, 2019) – Santa Clara, California-based Creative Foods Processing recalled 1,941 pounds of raw chicken due to “misbranding and undeclared allergens,” according to the FSIS. The chicken was found to contain wheat, which is not listed on the product’s labeling, the agency said.
Tyson Foods Chicken Recall (Aug. 2019) – Tyson Foods, Inc. recalled Weaver Brand Ready-To-Eat Chicken Patties due to possible foreign matter contamination.
SK Foods Chicken Recall (Oct. 2018) – SK Food Group recalled chicken products over salmonella and listeria contamination in vegetables.
Foster Farms Chicken Recall (2014) – Foster Farms chicken linked to 7 rare strains of Salmonella Heidelberg which sickened at least 634 people, with most victims located in California. Nearly 40% of those sickened required hospitalization to treat their illness, and no deaths were reported.
Pilgrim’s Pride Chicken Recall (2011) – Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. recalled nearly 12,000 pounds of ready-to-eat chicken over contamination with Listeria. Affected products included 10 lb. boxes containing 2 5-lb bags of “Sweet Georgia Brand Fully Cooked Breaded White Chicken Nuggets Shaped Patties,” and 30 lb. boxes containing 6 5-lb bags of “Pilgrim’s Pride Fully Cooked Grilled Chicken Breast Fillet with Rib Meat.”
Starbucks Chicken Recall (2011) – Flying Food Group, LLC, recalled 200 pounds of chipotle chicken wraps and chicken and hummus bistro boxes sold at Starbucks coffee shops in Georgia and Alabama for Listeria contamination.
House of Raeford Farms Chicken Breast Recall (2011) – North Carolina-based House of Raeford Farms recalled 4,100 pounds of boneless oven roasted chicken breast products sold to delicatessens in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina.
Can I File a Class Action?
Although Schmidt & Clark, LLP, is a nationally recognized class action firm, we have decided against this type of litigation when it comes to chicken food poisoning claims. Our lawyers feel that if there is a successful resolution to these cases, individual suits, not class actions will be the best way to get maximum payouts to our clients. If you developed a food poisoning illness after eating chicken, we know you’ve suffered emotionally and economically, and want to work with you personally to obtain the maximum compensation for the damages caused by your injuries. Contact us today to learn more about your legal rights.
Do I have a Chicken Recall Lawsuit?
The Food Poisoning Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in chicken recall lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new injury and death cases in all 50 states.
If you or a loved one developed symptoms of food poisoning after eating recalled chicken, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to a settlement by filing a suit and we can help.