WASHINGTON – The Food Safety and Inspection Service issued two recall alerts regarding poultry products that may be contaminated by foodborne pathogens.
Chicago-based Aspen Foods, a division of Koch Poultry Company, announced a recall of 1,978,680 lbs. of frozen, raw, stuffed and breaded chicken on concerns the products may be contaminated with Salmonella enteritidis. FSIS said the products are linked to a cluster of illnesses in Minnesota, where three individuals were ill with salmonellosis. The agency and the Minnesota Departments of Health and Agriculture determined illness onset dates ranged from May 9 to June 8.
The items were produced between April 15 and July 10 with “best if used by” dates between July 14, 2016 and Oct. 10, 2016. The affected products bear the establishment number “P-1358” inside the USDA mark of inspection. FSIS said the chicken products were shipped to retail stores and food service locations nationwide under brands such as Family Favorites, Spartan, Acclaim, Kirkwood and others.
Gluten-free breaded chicken nuggets made under the Bell & Evans brand were recalled by Murry’s Inc. of Lebanon, Pa. The company recalled approximately 20,232 lbs. of chicken nuggets after product samples tested positive for Staphylococcal Enterotoxin. No illnesses were reported in connection with the products.
The affected products include 12-oz. boxes of “Bell & Evans Gluten Free Breaded Chicken Breast Nuggets” with a “Best By” date of March 25, 2016.
The Colorado Department of Agriculture discovered the problem during routine retail and sampling activities. FSIS conducted a traceback investigation after being notified of the positive result.
FSIS said staphylococcal food poisoning is caused by eating foods contaminated with toxin-producing Staphylococcus aureus which 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, FSIS noted.
Staphylococcal enterotoxins can cause illness in as little as 30 minutes. Thoroughly cooking foods contaminated with the bacteria won’t prevent illness. Symptoms usually develop within one to six hours after eating contaminated food. Patients typically experience nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps and diarrhea. The illness is usually mild and most patients recover after one to three days, FSIS said.