Starbucks’ supplier in Alabama and Georgia Tuesday recalled 204 pounds of the brand’s “Bistro Box” food line after the dangerous Listeria monocytogenes pathogen was found in a sample of the chicken used in the products, the company said.
In a written statement, Seattle-based Starbucks Corp. said the recalled foods were no longer available in its Starbucks Coffee stores and noted, “The safety of our customers and partners is of the utmost importance and we take our obligation to provide safe products seriously.”
The Food Safety and Inspection Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture said neither it nor the manufacturer, Flying Food Group LLC of Lawrenceville, Ga., had received reports of illnesses tied to the recalled items.
Flying Food Group recalled 8.4-ounce packages of “Starbucks Chipotle Chicken Wraps Bistro Box” and 6.3-ounce packages of “Starbucks Chicken & Hummus Bistro Box,” FSIS officials said. They noted that both products were manufactured on July 13 and on packaging have “Enjoy by 071511” markings.
According to that packaging information and the recall poundage reported by the manufacturer, it would appear that from 389 to 518 Bistro Box items were involved — depending on the mix of products shipped to the Starbucks locations in question.
The potential problem was discovered through FSIS microbiological testing of a sample of the chicken used in the products manufactured for Starbucks, that federal agency indicated.
Starbucks introduced an expanded line of its Bistro Box products July 12.
The company said that in addition to the already popular Chicken & Hummus, Protein and Cheese & Fruit offerings, it was expanding the Bistro Box line to eight snack and entrée size portions that now include such options as the recalled Chipotle Chicken Wraps, Sesame Noodles, Chicken Lettuce Wraps and Salumi & Cheese. The Bistro Box goods are priced from $4.95 for the snack portion to $6.95 for the entrée size.
As word spread that some of those products were being recalled, Starbucks officials said, “We responded immediately and in partnership with our supplier and USDA, we will continue to work to ensure that all products meet Starbucks’ high quality assurance standards.”
The USDA said listeriosis does not typically sicken healthy people. However, it added, in cases involving individuals with weakened immune systems, such as infants, the elderly, HIV sufferers and people undergoing chemotherapy, it can cause high fever, severe headache, neck stiffness, nausea or even death, as wells miscarriage and stillbirths in pregnant women.
As of April 3, Starbucks had 16,863 retail coffee bar locations worldwide, including 10,930 in the United States.
Contact Alan J. Liddle at [email protected] .