Boston Salads pull tainted ready-to-eat products off the shelves

Boston Salads and Provisions Company, Inc. Boston, Mass, is recalling approximately 222,959 pounds of ready-to-eat chicken salad products amidst concerns that it may be tainted with a strain of the deadly bacteria Listeria, and pose a health hazard.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, the affected products were produced between Aug. 23, 2013, and Oct. 14, 2013, and were shipped to wholesalers for distribution to retail outlets in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

The recall was issued after contamination for Listeria monocytogenes was unearthed by the New Hampshire Department of Public Health in two different product samples.

Items subject to recall
Six particular brands, including, Boston Salads, Dietz & Watson, Market Source, Price Chopper, Northern Haserot, and Rachel’s Gourmet figure in the pull back.

The products impacted by the recall may have sell-by dates between 9/13/2013 to 11/4/2013 and contain the vendor number “P-17999” along the USDA mark of inspection. No reports of any illnesses associated with consumption of the potentially tainted products have been reported so far and the recall is simply a precautionary measure.

Customers who recently purchased the suspect products are urged to return them for a full refund. For queries, consumers can get in touch with Boston Salads at 617-541-9046, Monday to Friday between 9.00am and 5.00pm.

A little about Listeria
Listerosis is a rare but potentially lethal infection caused by eating food contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes. The disease primarily affects pregnant women, newborns, and adults with weakened immune systems.

The disease causes fever, muscle aches, and sometimes gastrintestinal symptoms such as nausea or diarrhoea. If infection spreads to the nervous system, symptoms such as headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, or convulsions can occur.

Infections during pregnancy can lead to miscarriage or stillbirth, premature delivery, or infection to the newborn. The bacterium has been found in a variety of raw foods, such as uncooked meats and vegetables, as well as in processed foods that become contaminated after processing, such as soft cheeses and cold cuts at the deli counter.

Listeris is killed by pasteurization and cooking. However, in certain ready-to-eat foods such as hot dogs and deli meats, contamination may occur after cooking but before packaging. Refrigerated foods are recommended to be below 4 degree Celsius.

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