Meat Recall

By: Sabrina Wu
By: Sabrina Wu

More than 27 million pounds of pre-cooked turkey and chicken are being recalled across the country. Pilgrim's Pride is recalling the meat because it may be contaminated with listeria bacteria. Even though this bacteria is dangerous, and sometimes deadly, very few people die from it.

"Only the immuno-compromised or the elderly or babies [are the ones truly at risk]," said Wausau Family Practice staff member Dr. Ronda Ditter. "Pregnant women may fall under that category."

Listeria infections can look a lot like the flu. People who have it say they experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and fever. The important thing, however, is that the symptoms should not be present for more than a couple of days.

"If you're a normal, healthy person, it should pass within 24 hours. If, however, you're not healthy or immuno-compromised in some way, or even pregnant, and it does not pass within 24 hours, I would certainly see your doctor about it."

Some parents in our area, however, said the recall is making them think twice about eating deli meat.

"It's a big concern, so I would think twice about it, yes," said Wausau resident Deanna Wildman.

If you've got questions about this recall, you can call the Pilgrim's Pride company toll free at 877-260-7110.

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Listeria Precautions

People at risk for listeriosis and their family members or individuals preparing food for them should:

  • Reheat until steaming hot the following types of ready-to-eat foods: hot dogs, luncheon meats, cold cuts, fermented and dry sausage, and other deli-style meat and poultry products.

  • Thoroughly reheating food can help kill any bacteria that might be present. If you cannot reheat these foods, do not eat them.

  • Wash hands with hot, soapy water after handling these types of ready-to-eat foods. (Wash for at least 20 seconds.)

  • Also wash cutting boards, dishes, and utensils. Thorough washing helps eliminate any bacteria that might get on your hands or other surfaces from food before it is reheated.

  • Do not eat soft cheeses such as feta, Brie, Camembert, blue-veined or Mexican-style cheese. You can eat hard cheeses, processed cheeses, cream cheese, cottage cheese, and yogurt.

  • Do not drink raw, unpasteurized milk or eat foods made from it, such as unpasteurized cheese.

  • Observe all expiration dates for perishable items that are precooked or ready-to-eat.

Source: http://www.fsis.usda.gov (Food Safety and Inspection Service United States Department of Agriculture) contributed to this report.


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