A Canadian company is recalling more than 20,000 pounds of chicken skewer products from U.S. stores because American officials found Listeria monocytogenes during a routine foreign shipment inspection.

Expresco Foods Inc. of Montréal, Québec, distributed the 20,446 pounds of “fully cooked chicken skewer items” before the recall notice was posted by the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) on Wednesday.

Both Expresco and West End Cuisine brand chicken kabobs are included in the recall. Expresco produced the products on Aug. 9 and 15.

The FSIS reported that the recalled products were distributed to retail locations in Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan and Texas. When available, the retail distribution list(s) will be posted on the FSIS website at www.fsis.usda.gov/recalls.

Consumers can identify the recalled chicken skewers by looking for the following packaging information:

  • 1.31-pound packages of “WEST END CUISINE GRILLED MEDITERRANEAN STYLE CHICKEN SKEWERS HAND-MADE WITH CHICKEN BREAST” with the UPC number 621588314947 and a lot code of 172562, 172640, 172571 or 172704; and
  • 1.09-pound packages of “EXPRESCO GRILLED Garlic & Herb CHICKEN SKEWERS” with the UPC number 621588315555 and a lot code of 172563, 172668, 172669 or 172670.

The recalled chicken products also have the establishment number “36” printed inside the “mark of inspection” of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).

As of Wednesday, there had not been any confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products, according to the recall notice. However, it can take up to 70 days after exposure for symptoms of Listeria infection to develop, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“FSIS and the company are concerned that some product may be frozen and in consumers’ freezers,” according to the recall notice.

“Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.”

Anyone who has eaten any of the recalled chicken and developed symptoms of Listeria infection should seek medical attention and tell their doctors about the possible exposure to the bacteria.

Similarly, anyone who has eaten or handled the recalled chicken should monitor themselves for symptoms during the 70-day incubation period. Symptoms can include high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea.

Although healthy adults may suffer only short-term symptoms, listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women. It often causes serious, sometimes fatal, infections in high-risk groups. People at higher risk include children, the elderly, cancer patients and anyone with a surpassed or compromised immune system.

Consumers with questions regarding the recall can contact Garry Arpin, Expresco Foods Inc. communications director, at 514-843-2353.

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