Murry's Inc., a food company based in Pennsylvania, has recalled about 31,689 pounds of chicken products that were possibly contaminated by the Staphylococcal enterotoxin.
The Staphylococcal enterotoxin is produced by the Staphylococcus aureus, a bacterium that can be found on the noses and skin of up to a quarter of healthy people and animals and can produce seven toxins that often cause food poisoning.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) said on Saturday, Oct. 25, that the recalled products included 12-ounce boxes of "Bell & Evans Gluten Free Breaded Chicken Breast Nuggets" and 10.5-ounce boxes of "Bell & Evans Gluten Free Breaded Chicken Breast."
The affected products that were shipped to retailers nationwide, have a best by date of Aug. 9, 2015 and bear the P-516 establishment number that can be found inside the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) mark of inspection.
The problem was identified during an inspection and sampling program financed by the USDA prompting the FSIS to conduct traceback activities and leading to the class 1 recall.
Staphylococcal enterotoxins act fast. Although the symptoms can develop up to six hours after consuming tainted food, they can emerge in half an hour. The Illness caused by the toxin is marked by symptoms that include vomiting, nausea and stomach cramps.
Neither the FSIS nor Murry's has so far received reports of adverse reaction from consumers who have consumed the affected products.
"Toxin-producing Staphylococcus aureus can be identified in stool or vomit, and toxin can be detected in food items," the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said. "Diagnosis of staphylococcal food poisoning in an individual is generally based only on the signs and symptoms of the patient."
Individuals who are struck with staphylococcal food poisoning are recommended to rest and take plenty of fluids and medicines to help calm their stomach. The illness is often mild and patients tend to recover within three days but young and elderly patients have increased odds of suffering from severe illness and this may require intravenous therapy and hospital care.
The CDC said that antibiotics won't work for individuals suffering from staphylococcal food poisoning because the toxin isn't affected by antibiotics.
To prevent staphylococcal food poisoning, consumers are advised to observe cleanliness and proper sanitation when preparing food. Health experts also advise that individuals who have wound and open sore as well as eye and nose infection refrain from preparing food.