Update: Trader Joe’s Recalls 4,000+ lbs of Chicken for Risk of Listeria Monocytogenes Contamination

Updated December 2nd, 2012, 8;32 AM PST by Jim Donahue.

Trader Joe’s recalls “Butter Chicken” from its stores because of possible contamination from the Listeria Bacteria.

The United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service in conjunction the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, and Aliya’s Foods Limited, has issued a public alert of a recall for 4,000 lbs +  of frozen butter chicken and rice products imported from Canada and sold at Trader Joe’s locations in the U.S. that may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes bacterium.

The products in question are 12.5 oz boxes of Trader Joe’s Butter Chicken with Basmati Rice with product code 2012-10-31 and lot code 30512.

This is the second recall in recent days in regards to possible contamination of meats and vegetables by the bacterium Listeria Monocytogenes.

Veggie Patch, a processed vegetable and meatless foods manufacturer located in Taunton, Mass, is voluntarily recalling two of its products, due to possible contamination from the Listeria Monocytogenes bacteria.

The two products are, Veggie Patch’s The Ultimate Meatless Burger, which was distributed in these states, NY, CT, NJ, PA, DE, MD, VA, FL, IN and WI, and Veggie Patch’s Falafel, which has been distributed nationwide.

For more detailed information on the recall and specific product dates and sizes, follow this link to the Veggie Patch website.

Listeria Monocytogenes is the major species of human pathogen of the listeria genus of bacteria, which actually contains 7 different species. This bacteria causes the rare bacterial disease listeriosis, which is a very serious food borne infection that comes from eating contaminated food.

Those at extreme risk for this disease are women who are pregnant or may become pregnant, newborn children, the elderly and adults with an immunodeficiency.

Listeriosis, the infection caused by the Listeria Monocytogenes bacteria, has a mortality rate of 20%, killing 1 in 5 people diagnosed with the disease. The disease is usually mild in scope, with flu-like symptoms of headaches, muscle aches and pains, fever and vomiting being reported. Symptoms generally last 7 – 10 days.

If left unchecked, the infection progresses and spreads to the central nervous system, where it usually manifests as sepsis or meningitis. Meningitis leads to encephalitis, which is an acute inflammation of the brain.

Pregnant women are at risk because of the Listeria Monocytogenes bacteria uncanny ability to cross the Placential barrier, which is normally very hard to cross. This can lead to stillbirth, miscarriage, premature birth and infection of the newborn. The blood-brain barrier is the other area of which this bacterium crosses over to, which allows for encephalitis.

Two major food chains have announced the Veggie Patch voluntary recall, Giant Food of Landover, MD, and the Stop and Shop Supermarket Company LLC, of Quincy, MA.

There have been no reports of illness or sickness due to consumption of these products to date. If you have any unused portions of these products, discard them and take your receipt back to the point of purchase for a full refund.

If you think you may be having sickness due to ingestion of these food products, please seek medical attention immediately.

Customers with questions about the Trader Joe’s recall should contact Trader Joe’s Customer Relations at (626) 599-3817.

Article by Jim Donahue.