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John Bisnar
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More Tainted Meat Recalled

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Kraft Foods expands cooked chicken recall.

Federal agriculture officials on Wednesday said that Kraft Foods contractor, Carolina Culinary Foods, has expanded its recall of cooked Oscar Meyer/Louis Rich chicken breast cutlets and strips because of ongoing concerns that some packages may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, the bacterium that causes listeriosis.

A Reuters report said about 2.8 millions pounds of meat will be taken off the market according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The South Carolina company first agreed to a smaller recall on Feb. 18 after an inspection found the bacteria in a single package. Federal officials have not yet received any reports of illnesses related to these products, which were distributed to stores across the country.

Kraft said it chose to expand the recall after it tested samples of more products at a non-government laboratory.

According to the Center for Disease Control , contaminated meat could cause high fever, headaches, stiff neck and nausea. Infants, elderly people or those with weakened immune systems.

USDA has listed the following items, which are subject to the recall: Packages with the establishment number “P-19676″ inside the USDA mark of inspection with a “Use by” date earlier than “28 MAY 2007.”

These include:

* 6-ounce packages of “Oscar Mayer/Louis Rich Chicken Breast Strips with Rib Meat, Southwestern Seasoned.”
* 6-ounce packages of “Oscar Mayer/Louis Rich Chicken Breast Strips with Rib Meat Grilled.”
* 6-ounce packages of “Oscar Mayer/Louis Rich Chicken Restaurant Style Breaded Chicken Breast Strips.”
* 6-ounce packages of “Oscar Mayer/Louis Rich Chicken Breast Strips with Rib Meat Italian Style.”
* 6-ounce packages of “Oscar Mayer/Louis Rich Oven Roasted Chicken Breast Cuts with Rib Meat.”
* 6-ounce packages of “Oscar Mayer/Louis Rich Chicken, Honey Roasted Chicken Breast Cuts with Rib Meat.”
* 12-ounce packages of “Oscar Mayer/Louis Rich Chicken Breast Strips with Rib Meat Grilled.”
* 12-ounce packages of “Oscar Mayer/Louis Rich Chicken Breast Strips with Rib

Whether Kraft’s actions are motivated by their respect for their client base, concern for their brand name or lawsuits from the stricken should people become ill from their tainted products, Kraft Foods has been proactive with this recall. I applaud them for doing independent testing of the meat they suspected was contaminated, pulling it off the market and holding their contractor responsible.

Our government officials should be taking note of these recent barrage of food recalls and cases of food-borne illnesses. They need to step up the efficient performance their duties. Quite giving the excuse that “more money is needed”. What is needed is more focus on the objective and efficient, conscience accomplishment of mission. When performance fails, it is a managerial problem, starting at the top, Mr. President.