October 7, 2000Food Inspectors Warn of Possible
Contamination of 'House of Raeford' Barbecued Chickens
DC (SafetyAlerts) - The U.S.
Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service is warning the public that
approximately 7,640 pounds of barbecued chickens, produced by House of Raeford Farms,
Inc., may be adulterated with Listeria monocytogenes.
The House of Raeford has failed to
comply with FSIS' request for a voluntary recall of the product. FSIS is warning the
public and distributors and has begun detaining the product in known locations. FSIS does
not have authority to require a recall.
The product is House of Raeford brand
"Fully Cooked BARBECUED CHICKEN" packaged for retail sales. The product labels
bear establishment number "P-239" inside the USDA seal of inspection, and a code
of "18808" also appears on the packages.
The ready-to-eat, barbecued chickens
were produced on Aug. 22, and distributed to North Carolina, Massachusetts, and Arizona.
The chickens bear packaging date codes of 237, 241, 242, 258, and 263.
"I want the public to be aware
of the situation presented by these chickens that could pose a health hazard," said
Thomas J. Billy, FSIS administrator. Because of the potential for foodborne illness, USDA
urges consumers who have purchased the suspect products not to eat them.
The problem was discovered through
routine FSIS microbiological sampling.
Consumption of food contaminated with
Listeria monocytogenes can cause listeriosis, an uncommon but potentially fatal disease.
Healthy people rarely contract listeriosis. Listeriosis can cause high fever, severe
headache, neck stiffness, and nausea. Listeriosis can also cause miscarriages and
stillbirths, as well as serious and sometimes fatal infections in those with weak immune
systems--infants, the frail or elderly, and persons with chronic disease, with HIV
infection, or taking chemotherapy.
FSIS has received no reports of
illness associated with consumption of this product. Anyone concerned about an illness
should contact a physician.
Consumers with food safety questions
can phone the toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-800-535-4555. The hotline can
be reached from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday, and recorded food
safety messages are available 24 hours a day.
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notification visit: www.safetyalerts.com.