Washington: Possibly Contaminated BBQ Chicken

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Saturday October 7 3:07 PM ET USDA Warns on Possibly Contaminated BBQ Chicken

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture warned consumers on Saturday that some barbecued chicken on sale in three states could be contaminated with potentially deadly listeria.

The USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) said Raeford Farms Inc. of North Carolina had not complied with its request to voluntarily recall 7,640 pounds of the chicken, which was distributed in North Carolina, Massachusetts and Arizona.

The FSIS, which said it did not have the authority to enforce a recall, said the chicken was produced on Aug. 22.

Product labels were marked P-239 inside the USDA seal of inspection and the packages were also marked with a ``18808'' code.

The FSIS said routine sampling had revealed the chicken could contain Listeria monocytogenes, which can cause the uncommon but potentially fatal listeriosis disease.

The disease can cause high fever, severe headache, nausea and neck stiffness.

It can also cause miscarriages and stillbirths as well as serious and sometimes fatal infections in people with weak immune systems such as infants, the elderly, people infected with HIV or those receiving chemotherapy.

-- Rachel Gibson (rgibson@hotmail.com), October 07, 2000

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