October 5, 2008: Salmonella Sickens 32 People In 12 States

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) issued a public health alert after learning that an in investigation conducted by Minnesota health officials uncovered a link between Milford Valley Farms frozen chicken cordon blue and  frozen chicken kiev and 32 cases of Salmonella food poisoning in Minnesota and 11 other states.

Although many of the stuffed chicken products are reported to be labeled “uncooked”, the breaded entrees are pre-browned thus allowing the raw meat to appear “cooked” to consumers.  In fact this is the 6th Salmonella outbreak in the state of Minnesota in the past 10 years linked to this type of product.  The average consumer may not know this, but the food industry surely does!

This type of outbreak can go on for some time, because the foodborne pathogen Salmonella is not considered an adulterant in raw poultry, and therefore no recall is required according to federal guidelines.

With no ability to recall the contaminated product, the U.S. Department of Agriculture provides consumers with this advice:

FSIS is reminding consumers of the critical importance of following package cooking instructions for frozen, stuffed raw chicken products and general food safety guidelines when handling and preparing any raw meat or poultry. It is especially important to use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of these chicken products such that all points of measurement are at least 165° F.

All poultry products should be cooked to a safe minimum internal temperature of 165° F as determined by a food thermometer. Using a food thermometer is the only way to know that food has reached a high enough temperature to destroy foodborne bacteria.

Frozen, raw, breaded and pre-browned stuffed chicken products covered by this alert and similar products, may be stuffed or filled, breaded or browned and therefore appear to be cooked. These items may be labeled “chicken cordon bleu,” “chicken kiev” or chicken breast stuffed with cheese, vegetables or other items.

To learn more about Salmonella food poisoning, please Salmonella Symptoms.

The Law Firm of Eric Weinberg currently represents individuals who have been sickened in Salmonella food poisoning outbreaks nationwide. If you have a question concerning your legal rights, please call us toll free at 1-877-934-6274, or see Free Legal Case Evaluation. To learn more about our legal practice, please see Food Poisoning Attorney.

For information on recent food poisoning outbreaks, food recalls, and other useful news – please see Milford Farms Chicken Salmonella, Michigan E. coli Outbreak, Life Care Dialysis Center Closes, and E. coli Illinois Lettuce.