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Food Safety News

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Trader Joe’s Frozen Chicken and Rice Recalled for Listeria

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is alerting the public of a recall being conducted by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). Aliya’s Foods Limited is recalling approximately 4,865 pounds of frozen butter chicken and rice products that were imported from Canada that may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

The products were sold in the United States as 12.5 oz boxes of “Trader Joe’s Butter Chicken with Basmati Rice” with product code “2012-10-31″ and lot code “30512.”

FSIS said CFIA is overseeing the recall in Canada and FSIS is overseeing the effectiveness in the United States. “FSIS will verify that those companies who have received product from the Canadian-initiated recall have been notified and have removed product from commerce, and will take appropriate action if prohibited activity is found.”

The product being recalled is considered ready-to-eat (RTE) and subject to pathogen testing since FSIS has zero-tolerance for pathogens in RTE foods at time of production, even if that food requires heating for proper serving.

While 19 cartons of product are on hold at the distribution center, 240 cartons have been distributed to Trader Joe’s retail stores. Trader Joe’s has contacted these stores directly and instructed them to pull the recalled product off the shelf.

FSIS is concerned that consumers may have received or purchased this product but have not yet been notified about the recall. The retail distribution list will be updated as information is gathered, and is posted on FSIS’ website here.

From USDA:

Consumption of food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes can cause listeriosis, a serious infection that primarily affects older adults, persons with weakened immune systems, and pregnant women and their newborns. Less commonly, persons without these risk factors can be affected.

Listeriosis can cause fever, headache, neck stiffness, and muscle aches, often preceded by diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms. Listeriosis can also cause miscarriages and stillbirths, as well as serious and sometimes fatal infections in older adults and persons with weakened immune systems. Listeriosis is treated with antibiotics. Persons in the higher-risk categories who experience flu-like symptoms within 2 months after eating contaminated food should seek a health care provider.

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