When a food product has been found to pose a danger to the community, it is imperative that companies and regulatory bodies move very quickly to get the word out. Food is often consumed within just days of purchase; if that food contains hazardous contaminants, manufacturers will have a very short amount of time to act before a consumer is harmed by a product.
This is the case for Garden Fresh Foods, a Wisconsin company that produces a number of meat products for grocery stores nationwide. Recently, FDA testing revealed that some of the ready-to-eat chicken produced by the company contained a dangerous contaminant called Listeria monocytogenes, a bacterium that causes listeriosis. Listeriosis is a virulent food-borne illness that can lead to serious health complications, particularly in women who are pregnant and people with weakened immune systems.
As a result of the FDA testing, 19,054 pounds of chicken and ham products have been recalled. These products were sold under a variety of different names, including Market Pantry, Archer Farms, D'Amico and Sons, Finest Traditions, Garden Fresh and Weis. Most of the recalled products were ready-made salads; best-if-eaten dates on the affected products fall between September 24 and October 18.
So far, there have been no reports of listeriosis related to the meat products, but given the recent nature of the recall, it seems possible that illnesses could be reported in the future. The FDA has stated that anyone who believes they may have been infected should speak to their health care provider.
The public trusts that food manufacturers produce meats that are safe for consumption. When that trust is broken and a consumer is sickened by a dangerous product, the manufacturer may be found to be responsible for the pains suffered by their customer.
Source: USDA, "Wisconsin Firm Recalls Ready-To-Eat Chicken And Ham Products Due To Potential Listeria Monocytogenes Contamination" Catherine Cochran, Sep. 25, 2013