Dire Recall Issued Over Raw Chicken Products

Health officials urge some consumers to avoid certain raw chicken products after they were discovered to pose a potentially life-threatening risk. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) issued an urgent public health alert on Sept. 16 telling consumers about a troublesome misbranding issue that resulted in raw, ready-to-cook chicken entrée products to contain egg, an undeclared ingredient not on the label.

The alert only affects 12 oz. plastic wrapped metal containers containing "aprons READY TO COOK MEAL FOR ONE BACON-CHEDDAR SMOTHERED CHICKEN." Per the FSIS, the bacon-cheddar chicken entree products were produced on Sept. 9, 2022 and have a use by date of 9/21/2022 on the label, which can be viewed by clicking here. They were shipped to Publix locations in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. The affected products also bear establishment number "P-48176" inside the USDA mark of inspection. The FSIS noted that the alert is not a recall and "a recall was not requested because the products are no longer available for purchase."

The health alert was issued after a customer alerted the establishment that an incorrect label was on the back of the plastic wrapped metal container. That label contained information related to a chicken cordon bleu product, which does not contain egg, when the product in the labeled package was actually the bacon cheddar chicken product, which does contain egg. This meant that the product contained an undeclared allergen and posed a potential health risk to consumers who suffer an egg allergy, a common food allergy that, per the Mayo Clinic, is one of the most common allergies for children related to food. Symptoms often begin showing a few hours after eating eggs or foods with eggs and "range from mild to severe and can include skin rashes, hives, nasal congestion, vomiting, or other digestive problems." In rare instances, egg allergy can cause anaphylaxis, which is a life-threatening reaction. Egg allergy can occur as early as infancy, though most children, but not all, "outgrow their egg allergy before adolescence."

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At this time, there have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of the affected bacon-cheddar chicken entree products, though the FSIS remains concerned that some products may be in consumers' refrigerators or freezers. Consumers with an egg allergy who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. The affected products should instead be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.