Chicken recalled at Kroger, Aldi, Target, Trader Joe's and more for possible listeria contamination

Chicken products have been recalled at more than 50 grocery store chains across the U.S. for possible listeria contamination.

The chicken, by Tip Top Poultry Inc., were originally recalled in September and include cooked, frozen, diced or shredded chicken, which were sold under various brands at major grocery stores like Trader Joe's and Target. On Tuesday, Oct. 9, the recall was expanded to include other chicken products—some possibly served from the deli counter in grocery stores—at Kroger, Aldi, Piggly Wiggly, Food Lion, Giant Supermarket, Kings Supermarket, Harris Teeter, Jersey Mike's and more, according to the USDA.

The products were produced and sold from Jan. 21 through Sept. 24 of this year, but luckily, it seems that no one has reported any illness or adverse reactions to consuming the chicken.

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10 things food safety experts won't touch
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10 things food safety experts won't touch

Buffets

"While food regulations have become more stringent and there are a plethora of policies in place for safe food handling and preparation practices, there are too many opportunities for mishandling for my liking. There are many chances for cross-contamination, especially when customers serve themselves. This can occur if a serving utensil ends up floating in a serving dish and anyone who touched the utensil previously had unclean hands. Improper temperature holding and insufficient cooling methods can also lead to the growth of unwanted bacteria." — Emily Ellis, MSc, quality assurance and research & development at Pellman Foods, Inc.

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Sliced Lemons

"Many bars and restaurants serve a wedge of lemon or lime on the side of sodas, water or beer. I always ask for mine without it, or pull it off right away. I do not know who handled the lemon and if they washed their hands properly before slicing it." Toby Amidor, M.S., R.D., nutrition expert and author of The Greek Yogurt Kitchen

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Raw Sprouts

"Despite the health benefits, I won't eat raw sprouts. I stay clear of any food with raw sprouts in it, because they have the propensity to cause foodborne illness just by their nature and also by how they are grown. Sprouts have been documented as being hosts for many foodborne-illness pathogens. The best conditions for sprouting also support the rapid growth of foodborne-illness pathogens if present in the seed. Recent foodborne-illness outbreaks associated with raw-sprouts consumption have included E. coli 0157, Salmonella and Listeria. I will consider eating sprouts, however, only if well cooked." — Daniel E. Archer, MPH, REHS, senior manager of food safety, workplace safety and environmental compliance for Stanford University Residence & Dining Enterprises (R&DE)

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Undercooked Ground Meat

"We do not eat raw or undercooked ground meat of any kind at our house. All raw meat has bacteria on the surface. Some are harmless and beneficial in breaking down the muscle fibers, as takes place in the aging process. However, raw meat can also have bacteria that could be harmful if the meat is not handled and cooked properly. Since these bacteria live on the surface of the meat, a steak can be enjoyed medium rare — about 145 degrees F internal temperature — but ground meat should be fully cooked to 160 degrees Fahrenheit. This is because the grinding process could potentially introduce bacteria into the middle of the patty. This is true for all types of ground meat — including pork, poultry or beef — whether it is local, organic, grass-fed or ground by hand at your local butcher." — Dr. Mindy Brashears, director of the International Center for Food Industry Excellence and professor of food safety and public health at Texas Tech

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Raw Oysters

"Before I became a registered dietitian and learned about food safety, I loved eating raw oysters. Yum! But having learned about how risky they are I now only eat them thoroughly cooked. The culprit in raw oysters, Vibrio vulnificus bacteria, can be present even if they are harvested from non-polluted waters, and there is no way to detect it by sight or smell. Only heat can destroy the bacteria, so I only eat oysters that have been boiled or steamed until their shells are opened, or shucked oysters that have been fully cooked until they are opaque (milky white) and firm." — Mary Saucier Choate, M.S., RDN, L.D., manager of outreach and stakeholder engagement at the Partnership for Food Safety Education

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Food from Bulk Bins

"Since I need to avoid gluten, I don't eat from bulk bins at supermarkets. Anyone with celiac disease, gluten sensitivity or a serious food allergy should do the same, due to the possibility of cross-contact because the food is not packaged and tongs are often shared between bins." Rachel Begun, M.S., RDN, culinary nutritionist and special-diets expert

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Sushi

"I see no reason to consume uncooked fish proteins. Well-seasoned and gently cooked, sauteed and steamed fish is nutritionally rich and food-safe! The goal for safe food consumption is to reduce and, when possible, eliminate any risk for foodborne illness. So when folks brag to me about eating sushi, I compare it to someone boasting about going through a red light. Sometimes nothing happens, but [other times] illness follows." — John A. Krakowski, M.A., RDN, CDN, FAND, food safety coach and trainer in Flanders, N.Y.

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Raw Milk

"Raw milk has been associated with numerous outbreaks over the past decade or two. Additionally, the threat from raw milk isn't even from one bacterium, but rather from many. It may be contaminated with Listeria, Salmonella, E. coli or Campylobacter. Pasteurization of milk began back in the late 1800s because of the association of raw milk with foodborne illness. It just isn't worth the risk!" Jennifer J. Quinlan, PhD, food microbiologist and associate professor at Drexel University

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Packaged Lunch Meats

"From a food safety perspective, many consumers don't realize that once opened, the product needs to be consumed within three to five days and not the expiration/use-by date. There is potential for the growth of Listeria monocytogenes, which can cause listeriosis, and may lead to illness and in some cases be fatal. The groups at risk include pregnant women, older adults (age 65 and over) and those with weakened immune systems. The solution? Buy fresh meats from the deli, refrigerate at no higher than 40 degrees F and use within three to five days. For those populations at risk, heating the meat to steaming or 165 degrees Fahrenheit will reduce the risk potential." Susan M. Piergeorge, M.S., RDN, food and nutrition consultant and author of Boomer Be Well! Rebel Against Aging Through Food, Nutrition and Lifestyle

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Potlucks

"While many people view potluck meals as a fun opportunity to enjoy a variety of foods prepared by others, I view them as a risky dining experience filled with hundreds of food safety mysteries. Was the food properly cooked, cooled, transported and reheated? What about the health or hygiene of the person making it? Did little Johnny with norovirus help Grandma make the cookies? Thanks for the invitation but I'll pass." — Ellen Steinberg, PhD, R.D., L.D., food safety specialist and president of the Georgia Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Photo: Shiro Nosov/Getty Images

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"The problem was discovered when the firm notified FSIS that multiple samples of product produced by Tip Top Poultry, Inc. confirmed positive for the presence of Listeria monocytogenes after being tested in Canada," said the USDA in a press release. "Tip Top expanded the dates and the scope of the recall out of an abundance of caution."

You can check the list of product codes and the dates of contaminated products here

Food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes can cause listeriosis, an infection that can cause fever, muscle aches, headaches and gastrointestinal issues, or in more serious cases, should the infection spread to the nervous system, cause loss of balance, confusion and even convulsions. According to the Cleveland Clinic, symptoms can appear 24 hours to four weeks after eating contaminated food, but sometimes even as as far out as 70 days later.

While anyone is susceptible to listeriosis, those most at-risk include older adults, pregnant women, unborn babies and those with weakened immune systems. 

If you're concerned or think you may have listeriosis, you should see your doctor right away. And, of course, be proactive in checking your refrigerator or freezer for potentially contaminated products. Those affected should be thrown away or returned. 

See the full recall from the USDA and affected stores here.

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What to Do If You Have Food Poisoning
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What to Do If You Have Food Poisoning

Although unpleasant, getting food poisoning is always a possibility when traveling. Read on to discover our tips on how to bounce back in case you’ve come down with a stomach bug.

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Drink liquids

It is very important to avoid dehydration when experiencing food poisoning. Although loss of fluids might depend on the severity of the symptoms, your body loses important minerals like sodium, potassium, and calcium that should be replaced.

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Rest

You might have to miss out on some of your itinerary, but resting is better for you in the long term if you’re feeling unwell.

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Stick to a "BRAT" diet

If your health is starting to improve, ease back into eating by consuming easily digestible foods like bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast (or BRAT). These foods will generally be easier on your stomach, but hold off if your symptoms return.

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Avoid certain substances

If not feeling totally up to par, the Mayo Clinic also recommends avoiding "dairy products, caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, and fatty or highly seasoned foods" until symptoms have waned.

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Consider taking a high-quality probiotic

According to health coach Lori L. Shemek, Ph.D., CLC, NC, "a key prevention [and recuperation] strategy to help get you on the road to better health is to take a high-quality probiotic, which is simply beneficial bacteria." Shemek notes that 70 percent of our immune system is in our digestive tract and "the beneficial bacteria promote the production of white blood cells that help fight off the infection." She also notes that an exception to this method’s effectiveness is if a physician prescribes an antibiotic, since the antibiotic will kill all bacteria. In this case, it’s all the more important to replenish beneficial bacteria.

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