Frozen Chicken Meal Recalled

OLD LYME, Conn. -- Aliki Foods, Inc. here recalled a frozen chicken-and-pasta meal last week after Listeria was discovered in a single batch of the five-pound box of two 2.5-pound trays of Chicken Broccoli Fettuccine Alfredo Made with White Chicken dinner with a best-if-used-by-date of September 2008.

Aliki president Michael Pappas told Connecticut newspaper The Day that the company was acting in the public's interest and safety by issuing the recall. The items were produced Sept. 28.

A routine inspection by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service of a shipment from Canada uncovered the listeria.

According to Pappas, the item is being sent back to the distribution centers so that the USDA can inspect and destroy all contaminated products. The company believes that nearly all of the dinners have been contained and recovered.

Over 70,000 pounds of the item were distributed to stores in Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Virginia. According to reports, the meals were sold at BJ's Wholesale Clubs in the Northeast.

The product was originally prepared and packaged as a heat-and-eat dish, but when it was submitted for USDA approval several years ago, it was instead given a ready-to-eat code instead. Ready-to-eat products are subject to more stringent testing, since they usually don’t need to be heated.

According to the FSIS, no reports of illness linked to the product have yet been reported.

Aliki advised shoppers who bought the affected dinners to dispose of them or take them back to the retailer for a full refund.

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