USDA announces chicken recalls


Special to Civitas Media



WASHINGTON — Aspen Foods, A Division of Koch Poultry Company, a Chicago, Ill. establishment, is recalling approximately 1,978,680 pounds of frozen, raw, stuffed and breaded chicken product that may be contaminated with Salmonella Enteritidis, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service has announced.

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 October 10, 2016.

The product subject to recall bears the establishment number “P-1358” inside the USDA mark of inspection. This product was shipped to retail stores and food service locations nationwide.

FSIS was notified of a cluster of Salmonella Enteritidis illnesses on June 23, 2015. Working in conjunction with Minnesota State Departments of Health and Agriculture, FSIS determined that there is a link between the frozen, raw, stuffed and breaded chicken products from Aspen Foods and this illness cluster. Based on epidemiological evidence and traceback investigations, three case-patients have been identified in Minnesota with illness onset dates ranging from May 9, 2015 to June 8, 2015. FSIS continues to work with the Minnesota Departments of Health and Agriculture as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on this investigation.

Another company, Murry’s, Inc., a Lebanon, Pa. establishment, is recalling approximately 20,232 pounds of gluten-free breaded chicken nugget product that tested positive for Staphylococcal enterotoxin, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service announced today.

The following product is subject to recall: 12-oz. boxes of “Bell & Evans Gluten Free Breaded Chicken Breast Nuggets” with a “Best By” date of March 25, 2016.

The product, bearing establishment number “P-516” inside the USDA mark of inspection, was shipped to an establishment for distribution nationwide.

The problem was discovered by the Colorado Department of Agriculture during a routine retail surveillance and sampling program, which is funded by the USDA at a Federal Emergency Response Network lab. After being notified of the positive test result, FSIS conducted traceback activities.

Consumption of food contaminated with 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. Individuals concerned about an illness should contact their health care provider.

Staphylococcal food poisoning is a gastrointestinal illness. It is caused by eating foods contaminated with toxin-producing Staphylococcus aureus.

Staphylococcus aureus is a common bacterium found on the skin and in the noses of healthy people and animals. Staphylococcus aureus can produce seven different toxins that are frequently responsible for food poisoning.

Staphylococcal enterotoxins are fast acting, sometimes causing illness in as little as 30 minutes. Thoroughly cooking product does not prevent illness, and symptoms usually develop within one to six hours after eating contaminated food. Patients typically experience several of the following: nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, and diarrhea. The illness is usually mild and most patients recover after one to three days.

Consumption of food contaminated with 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 4 to 7 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. Individuals concerned about an illness should contact their health care provider.

Consumers with food safety questions can “Ask Karen,” the FSIS virtual representative available 24 hours a day at AskKaren.gov or via smartphone at m.askkaren.gov. The toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline 888-MPHotline (888-674-6854) is available in English and Spanish and can be reached from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a day. The online Electronic Consumer Complaint Monitoring System can be accessed 24 hours a day at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/reportproblem.

Special to Civitas Media

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