Possible Contamination Leads to Chicken Recall

On July 12, the first of many frozen chicken product recalls was announced. This recall is said to affect approximately 1.7 million pounds of Barber Foods, Meijer, and Sysco branded stuffed chicken breasts that are sold frozen and raw. Numerous Minnesota and Wisconsin residents reported becoming ill after eating these products, so the USDA prompted the recall announcement. The recalled chicken is said to possibly contain a strain of salmonella, which causes fever, cramps, and diarrhea. These symptoms may begin anywhere between 12 and 72 hours after consuming the contaminated chicken and lasts up to a week.

Chicken recallThe second chicken recall came just days later on July 15, affecting 1.9 million pounds of similarly packaged chicken produced by Aspen Foods. This recall was also said to have been attributed to a potential Salmonella Enteritidis contamination. These items would have been produced from April 15, 2015 until July 10, 2015. The expiration dates listed will include July 14, 2016-October 10, 2016. Each package will bear an establishment number inside the USDA mark of inspection that reads “P-1358”. Because Aspen Foods is a division of Koch Poultry Company, countless brands will be included in this chicken recall:

  • Acclaim
  • Antioch Farms
  • Buckley Farms
  • Centrella Signature
  • Chestnut Farms
  • Family Favorites
  • Kirkwood
  • Koch Foods
  • Market Day
  • Oven Cravers
  • Princess
  • Rose
  • Rosebud Farm
  • Roundy’s
  • Safeway Kitchens
  • Schwan’s
  • Shaner’s
  • Spartan
  • Sysco

Food safety specialists believe the risk of salmonella may also be caused in part by the general public’s lack of education on cooking procedures for raw, frozen chicken. These packaged chicken products appear to some to be cooked already, which is not the case. Although packages are properly labelled, most consumers fail to use a thermometer to ensure the meat is cooked properly throughout. Salmonella can only be killed when chicken is fully cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Freezing the chicken only preserves the pathogen. It is also important to research cross-contamination. The juices created by thawing chicken can contain salmonella, as well as plates that have touched raw chicken. Consumers should always use clean plates for cooked chicken and wash their hands after each use so that contaminants are not spread to other items touched.