A Salmonella outbreak linked to Antioch Farms Chicken Cordon Bleu has sickened three Minnesotans, hospitalizing two of them. The company has not issued a recall for the raw, frozen, breaded and pre-browned, stuffed chicken entrees. However, consumers who have purchased this product should not eat it as they risk serious illness if they do.
The contaminated product was sold at a number of retail grocery store chains. The package is stamped with the code P-1358 and sold at many different grocery store chains. Health officials have not yet disclosed the names of those stores.
The three people who were sickened in the outbreak were adults in their 30s and 40s who live in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. Nine months ago, a raw, frozen Chicken Kiev product made by Antioch Farms was linked to a Salmonella outbreak that sickened six people.
This outbreak occurred at the same time as another Salmonella outbreak in Minnesota linked to raw breaded chicken products. Between April 5 and June 8, four people who ate Barber Chicken Kiev developed salmonellosis.
Eating foods contaminated with Salmonella can cause salmonellosis. Symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever within 12 to 72 hours after exposure to the organism lasting four to seven days. In some cases, where the infection travels from the intestinal tract to the bloodstream, infections can be life-threatening.
Since 1998, there have been nine outbreaks of salmonellosis linked to frozen, raw breaded chicken products in Minnesota. “These chicken products are raw, breaded and pre-browned and often found near pre-cooked products at the grocery store, so even though the current labels state that the product is raw, consumers could mistakenly think the product is pre-cooked,” said Carlota Medus, epidemiologist for the Foodborne Illness Unit at the Minnesota Department of Health.
“Another problem is that consumers could accidentally contaminate their hands and kitchen surfaces prior to cooking,” Medus said. “Since these products are pre-browned and often cooked from the frozen state, they may appear safer when handling than other raw meats that may be noticeably dripping juices.”