Foster Farms is recalling nearly 40,000 pounds of frozen, pre-cooked chicken because the products may be contaminated with listeria monocytogenes, a bacteria that can cause listeriosis, a foodborne illness that can cause symptoms such as diarrhea and can be fatal to some individuals.
The recall involves frozen Chicken Breast Grilled Strips produced at the Foster Farms plant in Farmerville, La., on August 5 with a Best by date of 08-05-15. The chicken is packaged in 3.5-pound plastic re-sealable bags that are marked with the establishment number P-33901. The affected products were shipped to retail warehouses and Costco stores in California, Washington, Texas, Montana, Oregon, Idaho, Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Louisiana and Utah.
The possible listeria contamination was identified during routine testing at the processing plant. The company did not provide any information about the source of the listeria contamination. The bacteria, however, are difficult to eradicate. Unlike salmonella, listeria can multiply under refrigeration. Foster Farms says it is not aware of any illnesses related to this recall.
Listeriosis primarily affects older adults, newborns and adults with weakened immune symptoms. It is particularly dangerous if contracted by pregnant women, as infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths.
The recall comes less than three months after the company expanded a previous recall on fresh chicken products that were linked to at last 646 illnesses caused by salmonella poisonings across the country. The company didn’t issue the recall until 16 months after the first illness was reported.
Foster Farms is the largest poultry producer in the western United States and the 10th largest in the country with 12,000 employees and plants in Washington, Oregon, California, Alabama and Louisiana.