Possible listeria contamination prompts recall of nearly 8.5 million pounds of Tyson’s frozen, fully cooked chicken

Tyson brand products being recalled are seen in images released by the company July 3, 2021.

Tyson brand products being recalled are seen in images released by the company July 3, 2021.

Tyson Foods is recalling nearly 8.5 million pounds of its chicken products due to a possible listeria contamination, the company and health regulators announced Saturday.

The ready-to-eat chicken products were shipped nationwide to stores, restaurants, schools, hospitals and Department of Defense locations, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service.

Products include frozen, fully cooked chicken strips, diced chicken, chicken wing sections and fully cooked pizza with chicken. They were sold under different brand names, including Tyson, Jet’s Pizza, Casey’s General Store, Marco’s Pizza and Little Caesars.

The recall came after health officials in June linked the company’s products to two cases of listeriosis, a serious invasive infection that can sometimes be fatal to older adults and people with weakened immune systems.

As of Saturday, an investigation identified three cases of listeriosis in Texas and Delaware, and found that one person had died of the illness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Listeria can cause severe illness as the bacteria spreads beyond the gut to other parts of the body. Symptoms include fever, muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions and is sometimes preceded by diarrhea, according to CDC.

Pregnant women may only experience fever, fatigue and muscle aches, but the infection can cause miscarriages, stillbirths, premature delivery or the baby suffering a life-threatening infection.

In a statement, Tyson said there is no conclusive evidence that the products were contaminated at the time of shipment, and that the voluntary recall of products from one plant in Missouri comes out of an abundance of caution. 

Federal regulators said they’re concerned the recalled products may still be in people’s freezers.

Anyone who still has the chicken should throw it away or return it to where they bought it.

The recalled products were produced between Dec. 26, 2020 and April 13, 2021 and have establishment number “EST. P-7089” listed on the bags.

The names of the products can be found here, and their labels can be found here.   

“We’re committed to providing safe, healthy food that people rely on every day,” said Scott Brooks, Tyson Foods’s senior vice president of food safety and quality assurance. “We are taking this precautionary step out of an abundance of caution and in keeping with our commitment to safety.”     

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