Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Over the years, Starbucks has extended food and drink offerings way beyond all those wonderful varieties of coffee. This roaster and retailer of specialty coffee now operates in over 50 countries in the world. Share prices are up over 50% over the past year. But with an expanded menu also comes added risk. Today the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a recall of two of its menu items. The USDA/FSIS again found that nasty bacteria, Listeria monocytogenes, that keeps turning up in ready-to-eat food.

The items recalled are:

• 8.4-ounce packages of “STARBUCKS CHIPOTLE CHICKEN WRAPS Bistro Box”
• 6.3-ounce packages of “STARBUCKS CHICKEN & HUMMUS Bistro Box”

These ready-to-eat chicken products were produced for Starbucks by Flying Food Group, LLC, of Lawrenceville, Georgia on July 13, 2011. They were distributed to coffee shops in Georgia and Alabama. Most likely, they have already been eaten. No illnesses have been reported so far, but that's hardly surprising. The incubation period for Listeriosis (the illness caused by Listeria bacteria) can range from as little as 6 hours to 70 or even 90 days. But is usually around 12 days. In other words, not enough time has lapsed yet for people to get sick.

As stressed in The Safe Food Handbook pregnant women, people on corticosterioid therapy, and people with a compromised immune systems need to be aware of the extra risks involved in eating ready-to-eat foods and in eating out. Listeria bacteria are a common threat. Read the several earlier posts on Listeria in ready-to-eat foods and on how Listeriosis can be disastrous for pregnant women.

To your good health,

UPDATE: This recall has been expanded twice - July 26 and 28, to include additional products. See separate post.

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