Seven Salmonella illnesses linked to chicken

By Joseph James Whitworth

- Last updated on GMT

One product recalled by Barber Foods
One product recalled by Barber Foods

Related tags Salmonella enteritidis Chicken Foodborne illness Salmonella enterica

Two outbreaks of Salmonella linked to raw, frozen, breaded and pre-browned stuffed chicken entrees have sickened seven people, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In the first outbreak, four people have been infected with a strain of Salmonella Enteritidis from Minnesota. Two of these have been hospitalized and illness dates range from April 5 to June 8.

Epidemiologic and traceback evidence linked these illnesses to eating Barber Foods brand Chicken Kiev raw stuffed chicken breast.

Expanded recall

Barber Foods expanded a recall to include more than 1.7m pounds of frozen, raw stuffed chicken products, said the US Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS).

On July 2, Barber Foods recalled 58,320 pounds of products made on January 29; February 20, and April 23 at its Portland facility. The expanded recall on July 12 includes all production associated with a specific whole muscle raw material.

Chicken products were produced between February 17 and May 20, 2015. A list can be found here​.

Products subject to the recall have establishment number “P-276” inside the USDA mark of inspection. They were shipped to retail locations nationwide and Canada.

CDC frozen chicken
CDC advice on raw frozen entrees

“We are working collaboratively with the USDA to modify our production practices including, but not limited to, additional levels of microbiological analysis and additional control procedures to reduce Salmonella in both incoming and outgoing raw stuffed chicken breast products​,” said Barber Foods.

“Approximately one out of every four chickens processed contains Salmonella, so the recalled product is no different than the billions of pounds of chicken sold in the US each year.

“By safely preparing and cooking raw poultry in an oven so that the internal temperature reaches 165°F, consumers will kill any harmful bacteria.”

Some case-patients reported following cooking instructions on the label and using a food thermometer to confirm the recommended temperature was achieved, said USDA-FSIS.

Second outbreak

In the other outbreak, three people have a different strain of Salmonella Enteritidis from Minnesota. Two of these have been hospitalized and illness dates range from May 9 to June 8.

The two strains represent the most common Salmonella Enteritidis strains in the PulseNet database.

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) investigation found that illnesses occurred after people had eaten Antioch Farms brand Cordon Bleu raw stuffed chicken breast. 

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