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October 14, 2002: Pilgrim’s Pride Poultry Recall Largest in American History

In the biggest recall in United States history, Pilgrim’s Pride, the second largest poultry producer in the U.S., recalled 27.4 million pounds of ready-to-eat chicken and turkey due to possible Listeria contamination.

Pilgrim’s Pride found traces of listeria monocytogenes at its Wampler Foods Inc. plant in Franconia, Pa., and subsequentially closed that facility until the risk of contamination to the poultry could be eradicated.

According to Steve Cohen, a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), their inspectors found “pretty extensive Listeria throughout the facility.”


The Weinberg Law Firm is currently assisting victims of Listeria food poisoning outbreaks nationwide. We are ready to help you. If you or a loved one was sickened after consuming a Listeria contaminated product and you have a question regarding you legal rights, please call us toll free at 1-877-934-6274. Let us help you take the first step toward seeking compensation for your Listeria food poisoning injuries.

Pilgrim’s Pride Poultry Recall Details

David Van Hoose, the chief executive of Pilgrim’s Pride, explained to the Los Angeles Times that “Listeria is killed when it is cooked, so the only chance for contamination is when the product is wrapped. The company will change its production methods to ensure that the wrapping process doesn’t contaminate the meat.”

The Pilgrim’s Pride poultry recall affected cooked turkey and chicken products produced from May 1 to Oct. 11. These products were distributed nationwide to grocery stores, restaurants, and food-service institutions.

The affected chicken and turkey products were sold to consumers under the Wampler Foods brand and select private labels.

The recalled products include roasted turkey breast, chicken breast and cooked deli-style chicken. All products included in the recall bear the establishment code “P-1351” inside the USDA inspection seal.

Listeria Information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that there are 1,591 cases of foodborne listeriosis, resulting in 255 deaths, in the U.S. each year. Newborns, pregnant women, older adults, and those individuals with weakened immune systems are at greatest risk for developing listeriosis.

Listeriosis symptoms may include fever, muscle aches, fatigue, and sometimes gastrointestinal symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. If the infection spreads to the central nervous system, symptoms may include headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, or convulsions.

The New Jersey Personal Injury Lawyer Eric Weinberg

The New Jersey Personal Injury Law Firm of Eric H. Weinberg has been providing legal assistance to clients since 1984. Our law firm handles a range of personal injury cases including Car Accident Lawsuits, Truck Accident Lawsuits, and Pedestrian Lawsuits. Please call our firm 24/7 for a free legal case evaluation. Let us help you take the first step toward seeking compensation for your injuries.

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