According to the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, the Costco store in South San Francisco, California is recalling about 40,000 pounds of Foster Farms rotisserie chicken products because they may be linked to the ongoing multistate Salmonella outbreak. There is no information about this recall on the Costco web site.
The Costco store located at 1600 El Camino Real is recalling 8,730 Kirkland Signature Foster Farms rotisserie chickens and 313 units of Kirkland Farm rotisserie chicken soup, rotisserie chicken leg quarters and rotisserie chicken salad. Those products were sold from September 11 to September 23, 2013 and were processed at the three Foster Farms plants that were targeted by USDA in their investigation. Apparently, some people who are sick in the current outbreak said they had eaten those products prepared in and purchased from that Costco store. The recall notice states “there is a link between the Costco El Camino Real rotisserie chicken products and this illness outbreak.” It’s possible that consumers may have these products in their home freezers.
On Wednesday, October 9, 2013, Consumer Reports wrote that they found a dangerous strain of Salmonella in a sample of Foster Farms chicken, and says that the company should issue a recall. The strain matches one of those in the current outbreak. Dr. Urvashi Rangan, toxicologist and executive director of the Consumer Reports Food Safety and Sustainability Center, said, “Consumer Reports typically doesn’t report findings from an individual test, but the connection of the sample in the current outbreak prompted us to make this information public.”
Foster Farms has told consumers to cook their chicken thoroughly. “That’s outrageous,” Rangan said. “We are calling on Foster Farms and the retail outlets that sell Foster Farms chicken to recall the chicken processed at these plants. How many illnesses will they wait for before taking action?” In addition, rotisserie chicken are already cooked by professionals and are sold ready to eat. Salmonella in ready-to-eat foods is an illegal adulterant.
Consumer Reports has posted an online petition you can sign, asking that Foster Farms recall their contaminated chicken products. So far Kroger and Costco are the only retailers directly addressing this problem. If you’re buying chicken this weekend, the products causing this outbreak have the numbers “P6137”, “P6137A”, and “P7632” inside the USDA mark of inspection or elsewhere on the package. If you aren’t sure, ask the grocer where the chicken was processed.