Possible Listeria Contamination Causes Public Health Alert for Poultry Products

Listeria monocytogenes is a bacteria that is found in soil, water, and some animals, such as, poultry and cattle. It can be found in raw milk or its products as well. This bacteria is often spread at processing plants where processed meat is produced, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Listeria can survive refrigeration and can only be killed by cooking and pasteurization.

Listeriosis is the infection that can cause serious illness, especially in the elderly, newborns, pregnant women, and those with a weakened immunity. Persons are encouraged to seek medical care at their primary medical care center or urgent care clinic if exhibiting symptoms of listeria infection, such as fever, muscle aches, diarrhea, headache, loss of balance, confusion, stiff neck, or convulsions.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Food  Safety and Inspection Service ( FSIS), issued a public health alert on October 25, 2017, that poultry products produced by Mary’s Harvest Fresh Foods, Inc., could be contaminated with listeria monocytogenes. The public is being warned not to consume this company’s “8.75 oz. ready-to-eat (RTE) kale and broccoli slaw salad with grilled chicken breast (rib meat) with item # 20346 and the ‘use by dates’ of 10-12 -17 to 10-16 -17. No recall of this product has been issued. However, consumers are being urged to either discard of the product or return it to where it was purchased.

If experiencing any of the symptoms of listeria after consuming this product, one should not hesitate to contact their health care providers, including those at their closest primary medical care center or urgent care clinic, where they can be treated with antibiotics. There have been no confirmed cases of listeriosis as a result of this possible contamination but the public is urged to exercise caution.