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North Carolina poultry company recalls cooked chicken

By Val Willingham, CNN Medical Producer
updated 5:36 PM EST, Fri December 9, 2011
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The cooked chicken breasts may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes
  • Look for serial number "P-239A," product code "94268" and package date "1270"
  • Listeria monocytogenes can cause listeriosis, an uncommon but potentially fatal disease

(CNN) -- A North Carolina poultry company is recalling approximately 4,000 pounds of cooked chicken breasts that may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Friday that the House of Raeford Farms, based in Rose Hill, North Carolina, recalled 18- to 22-pound boxes containing two 9- to 11-pound "boneless oven roasted chicken breasts" per box.

Consumers should look for serial number "P-239A" inside the USDA mark of inspection, along with a product code of "94268" and a package date of "1270" (September 27, 2011). The products were shipped to delicatessens and food service institutions for further processing in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina, according to a USDA press release.

The problem was discovered after a customer's laboratory sample of the chicken tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes, according to the USDA statement. Neither the department's Food Safety and Inspection Service nor the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have received any reports of illness due to consumption of these products.

Listeria monocytogenes can cause listeriosis, an uncommon but potentially fatal disease. It is rarely found in healthy people. However, it can cause high fever, severe headache, neck stiffness and nausea. In extreme cases, listeriosis can also cause miscarriages and stillbirths, as well as serious and sometimes fatal infections, especially in people with poor immune systems.

Anyone concerned about being sick should contact a health care provider, the USDA said.

According to the USDA, the best way to avoid listeriosis is to wash your hands with warm, soapy water before and after handling raw meat or poultry. Also wash cutting boards, utensils and dishes with hot, soapy water. Using separate cutting boards for raw meat, poultry, vegetables and egg products also prevents cross-contamination.

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