Around 42 tonnes of a Caesar Salad Kit with Cooked Chicken is currently being recalled in the USA, due possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination.
It is huge nationwide product recall for a product that was being sold in the cafes of a bulk warehouse chain.
It is the cooked chicken that has tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes, although the whole kit is being recalled. There have been no reported illnesses to date.
Listeria monocytogenes can cause a condition called Listeriosis, which mainly affects the elderly and those who are immune compromised, as well as pregnant women and babies. Healthy adults rarely contract Listeriosis.
Unfortunately one of the typical characteristics of Listeriosis is that symptoms may not show for up to three months after eating the contaminated food, depending upon the person, pathogen and situation.
The bacteria prefers cold temperatures and low oxygen environments, so vacuum packed meats and cheeses are likely foods for growth. The increase in popularity of these foods has resulted in more of this bacteria being involved in food poisonings worldwide, and also increased product recalls.
Typical symptoms of Listeriosis are; fever, headache, confusion, stiff neck, muscle aches, convulsions and loss of balance. There can also be diarrhoea. Miscarriages, stillbirths and premature deliveries are also potential symptoms in pregnant women, as well as newborn infection.
The good news is that Listeriosis can be treated with antibiotics, but it is best that it simply does not occur in the first place and this involves food businesses managing their food safety correctly, including raw materials and suppliers.
Written by Rachelle Williams, The Green Food Safety Coach.