Eating Chicken Soon? CDC Says Avoid These Products Amid Huge Tyson Listeria Recall

Nearly 8.5 million pounds of fully cooked chicken products are being recalled from Tyson Food Inc., following reports that at least three people have been hospitalized and one person has died from listeria.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) said Saturday that that several food products were being recalled after authorities were notified of at least three cases of listeriosis.

Following an investigation in April and June, FSIS found evidence that precooked chicken produced at Tyson Foods Inc. was contaminated with listeria monocytogenes, which can cause the bacterial illness listeria and lead to hospitalizations or death.

So far, FSIS has identified three illnesses and one death in Texas between April 6 and June 5.

According to the FSIS, symptoms of listeriosis include fever, muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions, and diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms. The illness can be more severe for pregnant women or those with weakened immune systems.

"Listeria can cause severe illness (known as invasive listeriosis) when the bacteria spread beyond the gut to other parts of the body. Pregnant people, adults 65 years or older, and people with weakened immune systems are at higher risk for severe illness," according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The products being recalled include frozen, fully-cooked chicken such as Tyson Pulled Chicken Breast; Tyson Fully Cooked Diced Grilled Chicken Breast with Rib Meat; Tyson Fully Cooked, Char-Broiled Boneless Chicken Meat for Fajitas; and Tyson Fully Cooked, Boneless, Skinless Chicken Pulled Chicken. The items were sold in multiple sizes, including 8, 10, 12, and 30-pound bags.

Each of the products bears the establishment number "EST. P-7089" on the product bag or inside the USDA mark of inspection.

The products were also sold under the brands Jet's Pizza, Casey's General Store, Marco's Pizza, and Little Caesars. Consumers should avoid fully cooked chicken strips, diced chicken, chicken wing sections, and fully cooked pizza with chicken under these labels.

The frozen, fully cooked chicken products were produced between December 26, 2020, and April 13, 2021, and were distributed nationwide to retailers and institutions, including hospitals, nursing facilities, restaurants, and schools.

According to the CDC, symptoms of severe listeria illness usually start 1 to 4 weeks after eating contaminated food. However, symptoms can start as late as 10 weeks after.

Furthermore, the CDC recommends that consumers with those products should clean their refrigerator or any containers or surfaces that may have touched the recalled products, as listeria can survive in the refrigerator and spread to other foods and surfaces.

The CDC and FSIS now recommend that people with these food products either throw them away or return them to the place of purchase.

"We're committed to providing safe, healthy food that people rely on every day," Scott Brooks, senior vice president of food safety and quality assurance for Tyson Foods, said in a statement Saturday. "We are taking this precautionary step out of an abundance of caution and in keeping with our commitment to safety."

Tyson recall
Photos of some recalled fully-cooked Tyson chicken products are seen after three people were hospitalized and one person died from listeria. Tyson Food Inc.