Yesterday we reported that there was a recall on 204 pounds of precooked chicken in Starbucks new Bistro Boxes for possible listeria contamination.
That's just the tip of the iceberg. Or the beak of the bird. Yesterday Pilgrim's Pride Corporation in Texas recalled a whopping 11,240 pounds of precooked chicken for possible listeria contamination. The chicken was sold to food-service institutions as five-pound bags of "Sweet Georgia Brand Fully Cooked Breaded White Chicken Nuggets Shaped Patties" and five-pound bags of "Pilgrim's Pride Fully Cooked Grilled Chicken Breast Fillet with Rib Meat".
The listeria was discovered through in-house inspections, and no illnesses have been reported.
Just how does listeria get into ready-to-eat chicken?
According to the Centers for Disease Control, listeria bacteria can live in food-processing machinery for years. Cooking kills the bacteria, but if cooked food comes into contact with the bacteria on its way to being packaged, it's trouble, especially because unlike many other bacterias, refrigeration doesn't slow listeria's growth.
Update: Wednesday, July 27 Yesterday Pilgrim's Pride added 7,072 pounds of chicken products to the recall.