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DHSS Press Release

Molly Magarik, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Cell 302-357-7498

DPH Media Contact:
Mary Fenimore

Date: July 5, 2021


DOVER (July 5, 2021) - The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) announced today that the State has confirmed one case of Listeria associated with a multistate outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections linked to recalled Tyson Foods ready-to-eat chicken products. Two other cases are confirmed in Texas. Due to the small numbers of cases overall and to protect the privacy of all patients DPH will not provide additional information about its specific case.

Listeria can cause severe illness (known as invasive listeriosis) when the bacteria spread beyond the gut to other parts of the body. Pregnant people, adults 65 years or older, and people with weakened immune systems are at higher risk for severe illness.

The frozen, fully cooked chicken products were produced between December 26, 2020, and April 13, 2021. The products that are subject to recall are listed on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's website: Labels can be seen here.

The products subject to recall bear establishment number "EST. P-7089" on the product bag or inside the USDA mark of inspection. Products include frozen, fully cooked chicken strips, diced chicken, chicken wing sections, and fully cooked pizza with chicken and were sold under many brands including Tyson, Jet's Pizza, Casey's General Store, Marco's Pizza, and Little Caesars.

These items were shipped nationwide to retailers and institutions, including hospitals, nursing facilities, restaurants, schools, and Department of Defense locations. There is also concern that some products may be in both consumer and institutional freezers

DPH has begun notifying any known facilities that received these products to ensure they are aware of the recall, issued Friday, July 3, as well as notifying institutional settings in general. They have been instructed to not serve, and to discard, the impacted products.

Consumers who have the product in their freezers should also either throw the product away or return it to the place of purchase. Listeria monocytogenes is a hardy organism that can withstand a wide range of conditions including freezing, drying, heat, and relatively high levels of acid, salinity, and alcohol. Unlike most foodborne pathogens, it can grow at standard refrigerator temperature (40℉), which makes it a particular problem in ready-to-eat foods that are not cooked before eating.

Symptoms of severe illness usually start 1 to 4 weeks after eating contaminated food. However, symptoms can start as late as 10 weeks after. They can include headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and convulsions, in addition to fever and muscle aches. Listeria can also cause common food poisoning symptoms, like diarrhea and fever. People who experience these symptoms usually recover without treatment.

Pregnant people usually experience only fever, fatigue, and muscle aches. However, Listeria can cause pregnancy loss or premature birth. It can also cause serious illness or death in newborns.

Contact your health care provider right away if you have symptoms after eating recalled product.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Food Safety Alert on July 3 after an epidemiologic investigation identified three listeriosis illnesses, including one death, between April 6, 2021 and June 5, 2021. The death occurred in Texas. This outbreak may be much larger than the current number of known patients. The products recalled were served all over the country. In addition, some people who contract Listeria infections do not seek medical care and recover on their own, so are not tested.

Final results linking individual cases of Listeria to the outbreak take approximately two to four weeks to be reported to the states, so additional Delaware cases could be linked to this outbreak through genetic sequencing.

Consumers with food safety questions can call the toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) or live chat via Ask USDA from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Consumers can also browse food safety messages at Ask USDA or send a question via email to

Tyson also has a hotline that consumers can call or text, 1-855-382-3101. Customer service representatives will be available through Friday, July 9, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. CDT.

Food Safety Tips

To prevent the opportunity for food-borne illnesses to occur, follow the CDC's four steps for food safety: Clean Separate, Cook, and Chill.

Clean hands and cooking surfaces

Separate raw foods from ready-to-eat foods

Cook to the right internal temperature

Chill foods in refrigerator promptly

For more information about the CDC's multi-state outbreak investigation, visit: For more information about the Tyson Foods recall, visit:

Anyone who is deaf, hard of hearing, Deaf-Blind or speech disabled can contact DPH by dialing 711 first using specialized devices (i.e. TTY, TeleBraille, voice devices). The 711 service is free and to learn more about how it works, please visit

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.