Tyson Foods is recalling nearly 8.5 million pounds of chicken amid a possible listeria outbreak.
The company said in a statement that it is issuing the recall out of an “abundance of caution” amid possible exposure to Listeria monocytogenes, which is a harmful bacteria.
“While there is no conclusive evidence that the products were contaminated at the time of shipment, the voluntary recall is being initiated out of an abundance of caution,” the company said.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said in a statement that its Food Safety and Inspection Service was notified of two people sick with listeriosis— an infection caused by listeria spreading beyond the gut to other parts of the body— on June 9.
The service determined that there was evidence linking listeria monocytogenes to precooked chicken produced at Tyson Foods. An epidemiological investigation identified three listeriosis illnesses, which includes one death, between April 6 and June 5.
Symptoms of severe illness caused by Listeria start around one to four weeks after eating contaminated food, though symptoms can start as late as 10 weeks after infection, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Symptoms may include headache, stiff neck, confusion loss of balance and convulsions, along with fever and muscle aches.
The frozen, ready-to-eat products were produced between Dec. 26, 2020 and April 13, 2021, USDA said.
The items were shipped nationwide to retailers and various institutions, including hospitals, schools and Department of Defense locations.
The agency is advising consumers to not eat the products, and for institutions to not serve the product.