Here’s a fun fact to commit to memory: every week, Tyson Foods processes up to 45 million chickens. In fact, 20% of all meat consumed in America comes from Tyson, whether you know it or not; in addition to its Tyson-branded products, the company also produces private label products for grocery and restaurant brands and wholesales bulk chicken parts to supermarkets for in-house repackaging. Why should you know and remember this fact? Because even if you don’t think you’re buying Tyson products, there’s a pretty good chance you’ve buying Tyson products if you eat meat. And that means when you read the words “Tyson Foods announces recall,” you always need to pay attention.
Tyson Foods is recalling almost 8.5 million pounds of frozen, fully cooked chicken products due to possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination. The company announced the recall in a statement on July 3, adding that it was cooperating with a USDA investigation, and that “while there is no conclusive evidence that the products were contaminated at the time of shipment, the voluntary recall is being initiated out of an abundance of caution.”
That same day a recall notice was posted on the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service website, stating FSIS had been notified of two people falling ill with listeriosis. Working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state public health agencies, FSIS found evidence linking one of the cases to precooked chicken that had been processed at a Tyson plant. So far, the investigation has identified three listeriosis cases and one death.
The recall affects thirty products sold under the Tyson, Marco’s Pizza, Casey’s General Store, Jet’s Pizza, and Little Caesars brands; the affected items were produced between December 26, 2020, and April 13, 2021. Check for the establishment code P-7089 stamped on their packaging. The entire list of recalled products is available to download here.
As for what to do if you’re affected by the recall: the CDC is stressing that these products should be thrown out, or returned to the store from which they were purchased. Any containers and surfaces that may have come in contact with the contaminated chicken should be thoroughly cleaned following the CDC’s five-step procedure, as listeria can survive in the refrigerator and spread easily. Tyson Foods says that customers with questions should reach out to their customer service department by calling or texting 1-855-382-3101 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. CDT.