Bell & Evans Gluten-Free Breaded Chicken Recall Due to Staph Contamination
More than 30,000 pounds of gluten-free chicken nuggets and breaded chicken products are being recalled after random sample testing identified that they may be contaminated with Staphylococcal enterotoxin, a common staph infection that may cause immediate and severe food poisoning symptoms.
A Bell & Evans gluten free chicken recall was announced by the U.S. Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) on October 25, after the Colorado Department of Agriculture discovered the presence of the Staphylococcal enterotoxin infection in the products manufactured by Murry’s Inc.
The problems were discovered during routine retail surveillance and sampling by the Colorado Department of Agriculture. Although no reports of injuries or illness have been confirmed in connection with the gluten-free chicken nuggest products, FSIS was able to identify the potentially impacted products by conducting a traceback investigation.
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The recall includes 12-ounce boxes on “Bell & Evans Gluten Free Breaded Chicken Breast Nuggets” and 10.5-ounce boxes of “Bell & Evans Gluten Free Breaded Chicken Breast,” with best by date of August 9, 2015 and establishment number “p-516” inside the USDA mark of inspection.
The products were processed by Murry’s Inc. of Lebanon, Pennsylvania and were distributed for sale to retail locations nationwide. The recall consists of approximately 31, 689 pounds of the gluten free breaded chicken products.
Staphylococcal food poisoning is a gastrointestinal illness that is caused by eating foods contaminated with toxin-producing staphylococcal aureus. Staphylococcal aureus is a common bacterium that is found on the skin and in the nose of healthy people and animals and can cause up to seven different toxins that are frequently responsible for food poisoning. Typically, the bacterium is fast-acting when ingested and can cause food poisoning symptoms in as little as 30 minutes. Symptoms can consist of any combination of nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, and diarrhea, and last usually up to three days.
The infection can be particularly dangerous to those with weakened immune systems such as children, the elderly, and pregnant women because food containing the infection does not have any visible indicators and can only be identified by lab testing. Additionally, Staphylococcal toxins are resistant to heat and cannot be destroyed by cooking. Foods that are at highest risk to contain the infection are those that are made by hand and require little to no cooking.
The FSIS has categorized the breaded chicken recall as a Class I recall indicating there is a reasonable probability that the use or consumption of the products will cause serious adverse health consequences or death.
Consumers with questions can contact Murry’s customer service by calling (717) 273-9361.
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