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John Bisnar
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Chicken Bacterial Contamination

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Oscar Mayer recalls cooked chicken breasts.

The string of outbreaks and recalls relating to food-borne illnesses continued Monday with a nationwide recall of Oscar Mayer chicken breast strips for bacterial contamination, according to a news article on the Web site, www.healthday.com.

The recall by Carolina Culinary Foods of West Columbia, S.C., involves 52,650 pounds of fully cooked chicken breasts produced January 9th and distributed nationwide to retailers, the article says.

Oscar Mayer’s contaminated 6-ounce packages in question are labeled “Oscar Mayer/Louis Rich Chicken Breast Strips with Rib Meat, Grilled, Fully Cooked – Ready to Eat.” Each package has the number “P-19676″ inside the USDA inspection mark on front and a use-by-date of “19-Apr 2007.”

According to U.S. Department of Agriculture officials, a sample of the meat tested in Georgia was contaminated by Listeria monocytogenes, which can cause listeriosis, a rare but serious infection. So far, there have been no reports of sicknesses.

Listeriosis can cause high fever, severe headache, neck stiffness and nausea. The infection can also cause miscarriages and stillbirths, as well as serious and sometimes fatal infections to infants, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems. The most common symptoms include flu-like symptoms such as fever, muscle aches and gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Symptoms of headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance or convulsions can occur if the infection has spread to the brain or spinal column (meningitis).

According to the Center for Disease Control (www.cdc.gov), the most recent listeriosis outbreak was in California in 1985, which was due to Mexican-style cheese and led to numerous stillbirths. As a result of this episode, the FDA has been monitoring domestic and imported cheeses and has taken numerous actions to remove these products from the market when the Listeria type bacteria is detected in foods.

CDC researchers say they have established an epidemiological link between consumption of raw hot dogs or undercooked chicken and approximately 20% of the sporadic cases under prospective study.

This is the fourth recall connected to tainted food in one week! On Friday fresh cantaloupe and selected jars of baby food were recalled. On Wednesday there was a major recall of salmonella-infected peanut butter, which reportedly sickened 300 people in 39 states. I am very concerned about the ever increasing amount of foodborne contaminants in our food supply system.

If you have questions or need assistance with your legal rights regarding food poisoning of aliments from foodborne contaminants, contact us for assistance