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California firm recalls chicken Caesar salad kits

A delicious  looking Chicken Caesar salad.
A delicious looking Chicken Caesar salad.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) on Thursday evening announced that APPA Fine Foods of Corona, California is recalling approximately 92,657 pounds of fully-cooked chicken Caesar salad kit products because of possible Listeria monocytogenes (LM) contamination.

The chicken products were shipped nationwide to one bulk warehouse chain for sale in their in-store restaurants and cafes. Following is a complete list of the recalled products:

11oz. clear plastic containers and 6.5-lb. boxes labeled, “APPA Fine Foods/Sam’s Club Daily Chef CHICKEN CAESAR SALAD KIT” with case codes 141851, 141922, 141951, 141991, 142021, 142201 or 142131 with "use by" dates of 8/14/14, 8/21/14, 8/27/14, 9/1/14, 9/3/14 or 9/17/14. The kits were produced on July 4, July 11, July 14, July 18, July 21, July 25, Aug. 1 and Aug. 8, 2014. Box labels bear the establishment number “P-21030” inside the USDA mark of inspection.

The company was made aware of the L. monocytogenes contamination after the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development personnel informed FSIS they had received two confirmed "positive" test results for LM from retail product purchased at one of the bulk retail chain stores. The chicken kits were then tested by the retail chain store, and only the chicken came up "positive" for LM.

Eating food contaminated with L. monocytogenes can result in a very serious illness, especially to older adults, pregnant women and those people with weakened immune systems. Listeriosis can cause fever, muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions often preceded by diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), at least 90 percent of the people who get Listeriosis are pregnant women and their newborns, people 65 or older, or people with weakened immune systems. As always, it is recommended that safe food handling, preparation, consumption and storage be observed in order to avoid contamination and illness.

APPA fine Foods started in April of 1987, the brainchild of two brothers from Canada. Starting with a 600 sq. ft. warehouse and a van in Corona, California, the operation has grown to two plants, one in California and one in Iowa covering 100,000 sq. feet. Their initial salmon product has grown into hundreds of items covering a multitude of offerings.

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