Ruthie Hawkins, BlackDoctor.org
Nearly 2 million pounds of ready-to-eat (pre-cooked) chicken products were recalled last week because the meat may be undercooked. The initial recall announced on Nov. 23, 2016 was for 17,439 pounds of product. The expanded recall includes an additional 1,976,089 pounds of product.
Oklahoma-based National Steak and Poultry, announced a recall of more than 1.9 million pounds of the products, the U.S. Food & Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) says.
According to a statement released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the poultry in question was produced from Aug. 20, 2016, through Nov. 30, 2016 – and shipped to restaurants and fast-food chains throughout the country. They were also sold directly to consumers during a monthly public sale at the company.
Recalled products include:
- 5 lb. bags packed 2 bags per case; product labeled “Distributed by National Steak and Poultry, Owasso, OK Fully Cooked, Diced, Grilled Boneless Chicken Breast Meat with Rib Meat” with Lot code 100416 and Case Code: 70020.
- 5 lb. bags packed 2 bags per case; product labeled “Hormel Natural Choice 100% Natural No Preservatives Fully Cooked Roasted Chicken Breast Strips with Rib Meat Natural Smoke Flavor Added” with Lot code 100416 and Case code 702113. No other Hormel product is impacted.
- The cases containing the products subject to recall bear establishment number “P-6010T” inside the USDA mark of inspection.
The recent recall expansion includes secondary products made with the potentially undercooked chicken, used as an ingredient before National Steak and Poultry identified their chicken products may have been undercooked.
Additional products, according to ABC Action News, include:
- Ajinomoto brand “Yakitori Chicken with Japanese-Style Fried Rice”
- Archer Farms brand pizza products containing chicken
- Ferratto’s brand chicken pizza product
- Best Choice brand chicken pizza product
- Nuevo Grille brand chicken quesadilla product
- Schwan’s brand chicken quesadilla product
View a full list of products and details here.
Health Risks of Undercooked Chicken
As for the risk, undercooked chicken has the potential to carry harmful bacteria, commonly linked with raw poultry, including Salmonella and Campylobacter. Both of which can cause severe diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, and in rare cases, infections that lead to long-term health problems like arthritis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
While cooking any meat product at the recommended temperature can kill harmful bacteria, ready-to-eat goods pose a serious risk because consumers naturally don’t handle them as if they were raw.
Of course, an additional risk includes Listeria, a food-borne infection; onset by the presence of bacteria (Listeria monocytogenes) known to flourish in low temp foods such as “Ready-to-eat” meat products. In pregnant women, the infection can result in miscarriage, premature delivery, serious infection of the newborn, or even stillbirth.
Though the USDA reports that, there have been no reports of health problems linked to the recalled products, consumers who believe they may have purchased them should throw them away or return them to the place of purchase.