A Chicago-based poultry company is recalling nearly 2 million pounds of chicken that has been linked to a salmonella enteritidis outbreak in Minnesota.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) and the Minnesota State Departments of Health and Agriculture determined that a cluster of illnesses was caused by frozen, raw, stuffed and breaded chicken products made by Aspen Foods.
Earlier this week, Barber Foods increased its own recall to include about 1 million pounds of similar chicken products.
Three people have reported salmonella illnesses with onset dates ranging from May 9 to June 8. While the chicken may no longer be available in stores, consumers may still have the contaminated food in their freezers.
The frozen, raw, stuffed and breaded chicken items were produced between April 15, 2015 and July 10, 2015 with "best if used by" dates between July 14, 2016 and Oct. 10, 2016. The product subject to recall bears the establishment number "P-1358" inside the USDA mark of inspection. To view a full list of recalled products, please click here.
The products were shipped to retail stores and food service locations nationwide.
Prepared products such as these often appear to be at least partially cooked, but are actually raw and should be handled like other raw meat products. When cooking stuffed chicken, it's especially important to make sure the internal temperature is at least 165 degrees.
To avoid cross contamination, hands and contact surfaces should be cleaned and sanitized after coming in contact with the chicken and it should be kept away from other food that won't be cooked.
Salmonella can cause salmonellosis, one of the most common bacterial foodborne illnesses. The most common symptoms of salmonellosis are diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever within 12 to 72 hours after exposure to the organism. The illness usually lasts four to seven days. Most people recover without treatment. In some persons, however, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. Older adults, infants, and persons with weakened immune systems are more likely to develop a severe illness.
Consumers with questions can contact the company directly at (844) 277-6802.