updated 7/22/2004 12:25:49 PM ET 2004-07-22T16:25:49

More than 18 tons of cooked chicken prepared a little over a week ago are being recalled by a Georgia company because they may be contaminated with listeria, the Agriculture Department said.

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The announcement said the potential problem was discovered when a private laboratory reported a positive result for listeria monocytogenes on Wednesday. USDA spokesman Matt Baun said the recall involved about 7,000 pounds of chicken that could have gone to retailers and nearly 30,000 pounds that were placed in cold storage.

The recall, by KD Acquisitions I Braselton, covers 14-pound boxes of “Tyson, Fully Cooked Chicken Breast Filet Fritters with Rib Meat, 3806” and 20-pound boxes of “Spare Time, Fully Cooked, Chicken Breast Fillet Fritters with Rib Meat, 3806,” the USDA said Wednesday.

The chicken was produced on July 13 and distributed to warehouses in Georgia and Arkansas, the statement said.

The company also is recalling 12-pound boxes of “America’s Choice, Fully Cooked, Breaded Seasoned Chicken Nuggets, 07046” with the codes “4195P17933” and “P.17933,” produced on July 13 and distributed to grocery stores in Maryland and New York.

All affected chicken located
Larry Miller, president of KD Acquisitions, said Thursday that all of the chicken that could pose a health problem had been located. “It’s not a consumer issue of concern,” Miller said. “This is a good example of how competent reputable companies deal with issues that are of concern to consumers.”

Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Tommy Irvin said staff members are searching the state’s grocery stores and distribution centers to make sure none of the recalled chicken could reach the public.

The USDA said there had been no reports of illness associated with consumption of the chicken products.

Health officials say listeriosis, caused by eating listeria-tainted food, results in a higher rate of hospitalization than any other food borne illness. Pregnant women, the elderly and those with weak immune systems are at the highest risk.

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