Tyson Foods rushed to issue a recall of over 8 million pounds of its frozen chicken products due to growing concerns that they may have been contaminated with listeria, according to a statement from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Listeria is a kind of bacteria that is found in soil, water, and some animals, including cattle and poultry. When eaten, Listeria causes a foodborne illness called listeriosis. Listeriosis is one of the most serious types of food poisoning.
According to the issued statement, the recall affects multiple lines of “frozen, fully cooked chicken products” that were produced between December 26, 2020, and April 13, 2021. Most of the products in question were sold at large chain retailers around the nation like Wal-Mart, Public, and Wegmann’s. Multiple restaurants were affected by the recall including Jet’s Pizza, Casey’s General Store, Marco’s Pizza, and Little Caesars.
According to the notice from the USDA. The Department of Agriculture was first notified of two listeria cases on June 9, 2021. The department then conducted a follow-up investigation that found at least one other case of listeria and determined that “there is evidence linking the Listeria monocytogenes illnesses to pre-cooked chicken produced at Tyson Foods Inc.” The department stated that at least one death has been linked to the outbreak.
The agency noted that the department “is continuing to work with federal and state public health partners to determine if there are additional illnesses linked to these products.”
In a press release, Tyson said that “while there is no conclusive evidence that the products were contaminated at the time of shipment, the voluntary recall is being initiated out of an abundance of caution.” The release further stated that “The affected products were produced at one plant located in Dexter, Missouri, between December 26 of 2020 and April 13 of 2021 and distributed to foodservice and retail customers nationwide and Puerto Rico.”
Tyson also published a list of products affected by the recall and noted that affected lots each bear “establishment code P-7089” on the packaging. Customers with concerns or possible contamination reports are encouraged to call the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854)