Massive Recall Of Frozen Chicken Products Underway Amid Food Poisoning Concern

| by Alexander Rubinstein

More than 20,200 pounds of chicken nuggets are being recalled. U.S. Department of Agriculture officials say the nuggets may contain dangerous bacteria.

The gluten-free breaded chicken nuggets made by the Pennsylvania-based Murry’s, Inc., tested positive for Staphylococcal enterotoxin. The recall was made for the 12-ounce boxes of Bell & Evans Gluten Free Breaded Chicken Breast Nuggets, the USDA said.

The enterotoxin is produced by the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus. It’s a common cause of food poisoning and can lead to severe diarrhea, nausea and intestinal cramping. Most people experience mild illness and recover within three days.

The infection can be more serious and sometimes deadly to infants, the elderly, and those with poor immune systems.

The USDA said it is capable of making consumers sick within minutes of eating food infected with it, reports Pix 11.

Though symptoms of Staphylococcal food poisoning can show up in just 30 minutes, the typical period of incubation is one to six hours, according to the agency.

Before the food was found tainted with the enterotoxin, the nuggets had been shipped to stores in most states in the U.S., reports NBC New York.

The discovery was made during a routine surveillance and sampling program conducted by the Colorado Department of Agriculture, the USDA said.

The labels on the recalled nuggets have a “Best by” date of March 25, 2016. “P-516” is written in the USDA mark of inspection.

So far, no reports of sickness have been connected to the recall, the USDA said.

Consumers who purchased the product should return it to the store they bought it from. Cooking the product thoroughly does not get rid of the enterotoxin and could still make people sick.

This is not the only recall on chicken products this week. Aspen Foods, a division of the Chicago-based Koch Poultry Company, is recalling almost 2 million pounds of uncooked frozen stuffed and breaded chicken products packaged under 18 brands, according to an announcement by the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service.

The recall of 78 different chicken products was made after a cluster of salmonella illnesses were linked to Aspen Foods by the FSIS.

The Aspen recall came just days after Maine-based Barber foods recalled 1.7 million pounds of frozen chicken, also due to salmonella, reports NJ.

Symptoms of the infection typically appear 12 to 72 hours after eating the tainted food. Symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal cramps and fever. Severe cases can lead to hospitalization, but symptoms usually last from four days to one week.

Sources: Pix 11, Wikipedia, NBC New York, NJ / Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons