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Boston Salads Recalls Ready-to-Eat Chicken Salad Products for Possible Listeria Contamination

Boston Salads and Provisions Company, Inc., of Boston, MA, is recalling approximately 222,959 pounds of ready-to-eat chicken salad products due to possible contamination with Listeria monocytogenes, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced Thursday evening.

The products were produced between Aug. 23, 2013, and Oct. 14, 2013, and shipped to wholesalers for further distribution to retail locations in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. A list of the products subject to recall can be found here.

Case labels or packaging may bear sell-by dates ranging from “9/13/2013” through “11/4/2013,” as well as the establishment number “P-17999” inside the USDA mark of inspection. Although product included in this recall may be expired, FSIS is concerned that some product may be frozen in consumer or retail freezers.

The problem was discovered when the New Hampshire Department of Public Health determined that two non-intact samples tested positive for Listeria with matching PFGE patterns. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health was alerted to these findings and tested intact samples of product, with two testing positive for Listeria with matching PFGE patterns. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health then alerted FSIS of the positive results.

The firm’s investigation has identified a likely source of the contamination, but no details have yet been provided. FSIS is continuing to work with federal and state public health partners on this investigation, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the New Hampshire and Massachusetts public health departments.

FSIS and the company have not received reports of illnesses due to consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about an illness should contact a healthcare provider.

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 outside these risk groups are affected.

Listeriosis can cause fever, muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions sometimes preceded by diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms. An invasive infection spreads beyond the gastrointestinal tract. In pregnant women, the infection can cause miscarriages, stillbirths, premature delivery or life-threatening infection of the newborn. In addition, 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 two months after eating contaminated food should seek medical care and tell the health care provider about eating the contaminated food.

FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers. When available, the retail distribution list(s) will be posted on the FSIS website at www.fsis.usda.gov/recalls.

Consumers and media with questions about the recall should contact the Sales Department of Boston Salads at (617) 307-6340, ext. 21.

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