December 3, 2012 — Trader Joe’s has announced a recall of nearly 5,000 pounds of frozen butter chicken and rice products due to potential contamination with Listeria monocytogenes, a pathogen that can cause severe food poisoning. Trader Joe’s has contacted stores that received the product and instructed them to remove it from store shelves. However, customers may still have the product in their freezer.
The recalled “Trader Joe’s Butter Chicken with Basmati Rice” was sold in 12.5-ounce boxes marked with product code “2012-10-31” and lot code “30512.”
Customers who purchased the product can return it to Trader Joe’s for a full refund.
The product was imported from Canada and produced by Aliya Foods Limited. The potential contamination was discovered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), which tests imported ready-to-eat foods for pathogens. The agencies have a zero-tolerance policy for ready-to-eat foods, even if the foods are meant to be heated before being eaten.
The following states received Butter Chicken products that may have been contaminated:
- Washington D.C.
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Carolina
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
Eating food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes can cause listeriosis, a serious type of food poisoning that can be life-threatening, especially for older adults, children, pregnant women, and people with a weak immune system. The illness typically occurs within 2 weeks after eating contaminated food. Symptoms may include fever, headache, stiff neck, muscle aches, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. The disease can also cause miscarriages and stillbirths in pregnant women.
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