Listeria Monocytogenes: Tip Top Poultry Issues Expanded Recall For Ready-To-Eat Chicken Products

Senior citizen in the supermarket in New York
A senior citizen shops for chicken in the meat department of a supermarket in New York on "Senior Tuesday", March 8, 2016. As of this writing, no one has been declared ill due to eating a Tip Top Poultry product with the bacterium. Richard Levine/Getty

A Georgia-based poultry company has expanded a recall of its ready-to-eat (RTE) meals from stores, citing concerns over a bacterium found in samples that could lead to a serious infection if consumed.

The company, Tip Top Poultry, initially issued a nationwide recall on September 28 of all of its RTE products produced between January 21 and September 24, after food samples sent to Canada tested positive for a bacterium called Listeria monocytogenes.

Tip Top Poultry added additional products to the recall list yesterday, according to WFTS-TV. It includes chicken salad, pasta, spring rolls, wraps and other products. The products were sold in some locations of Aldi, Food Lion, Harris Teeter, Piggly Wiggly and other supermarkets. A full list of stores affected by the recall can be found here.

As of this writing, no one has been declared ill due to eating a Tip Top Poultry product with the bacterium. However, eating food that has Listeria monocytogenes can lead to a bacterial infection known as listeria or listeriosis that mainly affects "older adults, persons with weakened immune systems and pregnant women and their newborns," according to a news release from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Listeria has the potential to cause a plethora of difficulties for someone who is infected, especially if it spreads outside of the gastrointestinal tract and becomes an invasive infection. It can cause muscle aches, headaches, fever, loss of balance, stiff, and diarrhea and other gastrointestinal problems, according to the USDA.

It can also cause "miscarriages, stillbirths, premature delivery or life-threatening infection of the newborn" in pregnant women, the news release read.

About 1,600 people in the U.S. become infected with listeria every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The infection can be treated with antibiotics.

The USDA provided a full list of the products that were recalled and advised those who have purchased them to not consume them but rather throw them in the trash or return them to the location where they were purchased.

An outbreak of listeria in the U.S. lasted from November 2016 to September 2019 and affected 10 people in five states, according to the CDC. Every infected person was hospitalized, and one person died from complications resulting from the infection, according to a CDC investigation that concluded on September 26, just two days before Tip Top Poultry announced its initial recall.

The outbreak of listeria that the investigation examined was caused by consumption of infected deli meat and cheeses, according to the CDC. The investigation did not identify a "single, common supplier of deli products" as the source of the outbreak.