Updated Friday Oct. 25:
Refrigerated, ready-to-eat salads from two firms have been hit with government recalls because of possible contamination with dangerous listeria, both the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration announced.
Listeria can cause serious and sometime fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and individuals with weakened immune systems. Symptoms include high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea. Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant woman.
Boston Salads and Provisions Company is recalling nearly 223,000 pounds of ready-to-eat chicken salad products distributed to retailers in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, the USDA announced today on its website.
Package labels will have sell-by dates ranging from "9/13/2013" through "11/4/2013" as well as the establishment number "P-17999" inside the USDA mark of inspection. Although some of the product included in the recall may be expired, the USDA is concerned that some product may be frozen in consumer or retail freezers, the agency said in its recall notice.
Just a few days earlier, USDA also announced a recall of 22,000 pounds of products by Reser's Fine Foods of Beaverton, Ore., including several kinds of chicken salad, ham salad, barbecue beans with beef, pasta salad, and potato salad with bacon.
The products have been distributed to retailers and distributors in Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming, the USDA said in a statement.
They were also distributed to Canada, CNN reported, and the potential contamination was discovered by testing at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
Recalled products will have the establishment number EST. 13520 or P-13520 inside the USDA mark of inspection. The USDA said the packages will be marked with a use-by or best-by date and followed by a plant identifier code of 20.
The FDA's announcement notes that consumers who purchased the product should take it back to the store for a refund or discard it. Consumers can also call Reser's Fine Foods Consumer Hotline: 1-888-257-7913 (8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST).
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