Health

Tyson Expanded Its Chicken Recall to Include Another 500,000 Pounds of Products

Tyson Foods has expanded a recent chicken recall to include nearly 500,000 pounds of additional product that could be contaminated with listeria bacteria. 

The Tyson chicken recall was first announced by the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) on July 3 following an investigation linking frozen Tyson chicken products to three cases of listeriosis. At first, the recall included a whopping 8,492,832 pounds of frozen, ready-to-eat chicken products from Tyson. And on July 8, the FSIS announced that an additional 462,464 pounds of frozen chicken products were being included in the recall, for a total amount of 8,955,296 pounds. 

The recall expansion does not include any new product names or product codes, according to an editor’s note appended to the original FSIS announcement. However, there are new additional date codes of previously recalled products. The FSIS has updated its full list of product names, package sizes, product codes, and date codes included in the Tyson chicken recall. Consumers can also check the FSIS site for images of the labels on recalled products. 

There are 30 different Tyson-made products covered by the recall. They are all precooked frozen chicken products (including diced chicken, chicken strips, chicken wings, pulled chicken, and chicken pizza). Nearly all of the items were for sale under the Tyson brand name, but the recall also includes products from other brands that contain chicken produced by Tyson. The other brands are Casey’s General Store, Jet’s Pizza, Little Caesars, and Marco’s Pizza. While almost half of all the recalled products are 10-pound bags of Tyson chicken, the recalled packages range in weight from 12 ounces to 40 pounds. 

The recalled products, made at a Tyson plant between December 26, 2020, and April 13, 2021, have been distributed to a wide variety of places across the country: Grocery stores, restaurants, hospitals, Department of Defense locations, long-term care facilities, and schools. The new update to the FSIS announcement notes that the recalled products sent out to schools were not part of the meals that the USDA provides to students participating in the National School Lunch Program.

The FSIS was first notified of two cases of listeriosis, the potentially severe foodborne illness caused by listeria, in early June. An investigation conducted in collaboration with state public health authorities and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) turned up one more case, for a total of three. All three people had eaten food served at a long-term care facility or hospital, per the CDC. One person died. 

Investigators linked the listeriosis cases to Tyson frozen chicken products through lab testing. The strain of Listeria monocytogenes found in the infected individuals was closely related to a strain of listeria found on two samples of Tyson frozen chicken that were tested during routine sample collection by the FSIS. 

While most people who get listeria will experience mild illness (including symptoms like fever and diarrhea) and recover without specific medical care, the bacterial infection poses more of a threat to certain populations: people who are pregnant, newborns, adults over age 65, and people with weakened immune systems. These individuals are more likely to develop severe symptoms and invasive listeria. That’s when the infection spreads outside of the gut to other parts of the body, potentially causing symptoms such as confusion, convulsions, and loss of balance, per the CDC.

People who discover any products connected to the Tyson chicken recall in their freezer are advised by the FSIS to either return it or dispose of it. 

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