The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has issued a public health alert for a certain type of salad product sold at Trader Joe's grocery stores. Officials say the salad products may be contaminated with 'Listeria monocytogenes.'

Public Health Alert

According to the FSIS, salads with white chicken meat produced by Ghiringhelli Specialty Foods may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, a bacteria that causes a serious infection, called listeriosis.

The FSIS said that the ready-to-eat salads with chicken have not been recalled because they are not being sold anymore as they are now "past their Use by dates." They were made from Oct. 3 through Oct. 6 and had "Use by dates" of Oct. 10 through Oct. 13.

The company managed to discover the problem on Oct. 20, when it received a notification from its supplier about the addition of the said broccoli product in a recent recall.

Food inspectors are warning people not to consume the product. They are also advising consumers to either throw them away or bring them back to where they were purchased.

Listeria Monocytogenes And Listeriosis

Listeria monocytogenes is a species of pathogenic bacteria that causes listeriosis. Listeriosis can cause fever, headache, stiff neck, confusion and muscle aches, often preceded by diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms. Also, the symptoms of the infection usually vary with the infected person.

For pregnant women who are infected with listeriosis, they typically experience only a mild, flu-like illness. However, the bacteria can cause miscarriages, premature delivery or life-threatening infection for the newborn child.

Listeria is responsible for an estimated 1,600 illnesses and 260 deaths in the United States alone every year. It ranks third in the total number of deaths among foodborne bacterial pathogens.

Treatment Of Listeria Infection

Those who think they may be infected by Listeria and may be experiencing its symptoms should consult a doctor immediately. Doctors usually prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection, depending on the severity. Ampicillin is generally considered the antibiotic of choice.

Trader Joe's Recalls

Last June, several granola products sold at Trader Joe's stores have been recalled due to concerns they may be contaminated with listeria. Earlier this year, the company also recalled its Unsweetened Apple Sauce products due to the potential presence of glass content inside the containers.

Trader Joe's Grocery Stores

Trader Joe's is owned by a German private equity family trust and is based Monrovia, California. As of now, the American chain had around 474 grocery stores nationwide in 43 states.

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