Friday, March 25, 2005
Santa Fe Springs, Calif. (AP) —
A California meat company on Friday voluntarily issued a recall for thousands of packages of frozen chicken products distributed to Trader Joe’s grocery stores because they may have been contaminated with a harmful bacteria.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service announced the recall of 6,250 packages of “Trader Joe’s, Teriyaki Chicken Wings & Drummettes,” produced by Day-Lee Foods last August and distributed to grocery chain’s stores in Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon and Washington.
The two-pound bags bear the code “EST. P-17309” inside the USDA mark of inspection and the code “2404DL1.”
Mark Miller, general manager of Santa Fe Springs-based Day-Lee, said a sample of the chicken product was found last summer to contain Listeria monocytogenes, a bacteria that can cause a potentially fatal disease, as well as symptoms such as fever, headaches, neck stiffness and nausea.
Miller said the company did not immediately report the contamination because “the product test was mishandled in some way.” He said missing documents came to light during a routine audit.
Both Trader Joe’s and Day-Lee said they had received no reports of illness connected to the product.
Miller said the person in charge of ensuring quality at the time of the test was no longer with the company and that Day-Lee had stepped up its quality controls.
“We now get voicemail and e-mail notification to two people in the organization when there’s a problem,” Miller said.
Trader Joe’s spokeswoman Pat St. John said the company was posting notices about the recall but said it was unlikely many packages remained on the shelves, as the product was produced more than six months ago.
“We are in discussions with how we will treat this vendor, or whether this vendor will continue to be a vendor in the future,” she said.