Where Local and Global Appetites Collide

Costco Chicken Recall May Cause Fatal Food Poisoning

Mar. 3, 2008 РCostco Wholesale, an Issaquah, Wash. firm, is voluntarily recalling approximately 10,368 pounds of frozen chicken entr̩es that may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, a fatal form of food poisoning.

The following chicken product is subject to recall:

What is Listeria monocytogenes? It is an uncommon but potentially fatal kind of food poisoning. Healthy people rarely contract listeriosis. However, listeriosis can cause high fever, severe headache, neck stiffness and nausea. Listeriosis can also cause miscarriages and stillbirths, as well as serious and sometimes fatal infections in those with weakened immune systems, such as infants, the elderly, and persons with HIV infection or undergoing chemotherapy.

How can Listeria monocytogenes fatal food poisoning be prevented?

  • Wash hands with warm, soapy water before and after handling raw meat and poultry for at least 20 seconds.
  • Wash cutting boards, dishes and utensils with hot, soapy water. Immediately clean spills.
  • Keep raw meat, fish and poultry away from other food that will not be cooked. Use separate cutting boards for raw meat, poultry and egg products and cooked foods.
  • Do not eat hot dogs, luncheon meats, bologna or other deli meats unless reheated until steaming hot.
  • Do not eat refrigerated pâté, meat spreads from a meat counter or smoked seafood found in the refrigerated section of the store. Foods that don’t need refrigeration, like canned tuna and canned salmon, are safe to eat. Refrigerate after opening.
  • Do not drink raw (unpasteurized) milk and do not eat foods that have unpasteurized milk in them.
  • Do not eat salads made in the store such as ham salad, chicken salad, egg salad, tuna salad or seafood salad.
  • Do not eat soft cheeses such as Feta, queso blanco, queso fresco, Brie, Camembert cheeses, blue-veined cheeses and Panela unless it is labeled as made with pasteurized milk.
  • Use precooked or ready-to-eat food as soon as you can. Listeria can grow in the refrigerator. The refrigerator should be 40 °F or lower and the freezer 0 °F or lower. Use an appliance thermometer to check the temperature of your refrigerator.

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