Two separate outbreaks have sickened nine people in Minnesota and Wisconsin with a Salmonella bacterium that has been linked to raw breaded chicken entrees. Four victims have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported. Since the affected product has an extended shelf-life, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that more victims are expected.
In the first outbreak from April 5 to June 23, five people were affected in Minnesota and one in Wisconsin. The second outbreak from May 9 to June 8 sickened three people in Minnesota.
Barber Foods of Portland, Maine, a manufacturer of frozen chicken entrées, has recalled 1.7 million pounds of breaded chicken products that might be contaminated with the Salmonella strain linked to the outbreaks. The frozen products, produced between February 17 and May 20, 2015, bear the establishment number “P-276” inside the USDA mark of inspection. A full list of all the products can be found here.
In addition, Aspen Foods, A Division of Koch Poultry Company in Chicago has recalled nearly 2 million pounds of similar frozen chicken entrées. A list of these products can be found here.
Although breaded chicken products look crispy and cooked on the products’ packages, most of these products are raw. Consumers should carefully follow the cooking instructions and use a thermometer to make sure the food reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Outbreaks linked to raw/breaded chicken products are common. CDC’s advice on how to properly handle these products can be found here.
All victims from the two outbreaks were infected with Salmonella enteritidis. The illness caused by this bacterium typically includes diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after an exposure.
If you think you might be sick with a Salmonella infection, seek medical attention. Everyone who is at a high-risk of acquiring a foodborne illness—individuals over the age of 65, children under 5, pregnant women, or anyone immunocompromised—should pay especially close attention to the recall notices.
You can read the latest CDC updates here .
You can read USDA recall updates here.
More information about Salmonella can be found here.