Frozen Chicken Recall Issued For 1.7M Pounds of Cordon Bleu, Kiev, Other Stuffed Chicken

Following a growing number of confirmed food poisoning cases, a recent frozen chicken recall has been expanded to include more than 1.7 million pounds of Barber Foods stuffed chicken products, which could potentially be contaminated with salmonella. 

The Barber Foods frozen, raw stuffed chicken products recall expansion was announced by the U.S. Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) on July 12, following two new reports involving consumers who fell ill with salmonella infections after eating one of the variety of chicken products. To date, the agency has identified at least 6 salmonella cases among individuals who ate the frozen chicken..

The original recall was announced on July 2, and included 58,000 pounds of 2 lb. 4 oz. cardboard boxes containing 6 individually wrapped pieces of “Barber Foods Premium Entrees Breaded Boneless Raw Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Rib Meat Kiev” with by/sell date of April 28, 2016, May 20, 2016, and July 21, 2016. These products were sold exclusively to Sam’s Club retail stores in Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

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FSIS was notified about a cluster of salmonella food poisoning illnesses on June 24, and through epidemiological evidence and traceback investigations of illness onset date ranges, were able to determine Barber Foods raw stuffed chicken products as the original contaminated source, prompting the recall.

After receiving two more illness reports since the original recall on July 2, the manufacturer has decided to broaden the scope of the recall to all products associated with the contaminated source material.

Salmonella Enteritidis is a common serotype of salmonella and is one of the leading food poisoning infections among the United States. A person infected with Salmonella Enteritidis will usually experience fever, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea beginning 12 to 72 hours after consuming a contaminated food or beverage.

The illness usually lasts four to seven days and most patients can recover from the infection without the treatment of antibiotics. However, the elderly, infants, and those with impaired immune systems may have more severe illnesses, especially if the infection spreads from the intestines to the blood stream, which may cause death if not treated promptly with antibiotics.

The recall expansion now includes 1,707,494 pounds of Barber Foods, Meijer, and SYSCO frozen, stuffed and raw chicken Cordon Blue, Chicken Tenders, Chicken Kiev, and Chicken Broccoli Cheese products manufactured between February 17, 2015 and May 20, 2015. The recall is no longer limited to Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin and now impacts all supermarkets and retailers across the U.S. The recalled products have a use/sell by date of April 28, 2016, May 20, 2016, or July 21, 2016 and lot Code numbers 0950292102, 0950512101, or 0951132202 and the establishment number “P-276” inside the USDA mark of inspection.

For a full list of recalled product names, packaging sizes, and case code numbers please visit the USDA recall announcement (linked above).

FSIS and Barber Foods have announced that although consumers may not have eaten the recalled products, they are concerned some may still be in consumers’ freezers. The chicken products may appear to be cooked due to the darkened colors but are in fact uncooked and should be handled carefully to avoid cross contamination and cooked to at least 165 degrees F.

FSIS recommends that when handling raw meats and poultry to always wash your hands with soap and warm water prior and never use the same cutting boards, dishes, and utensils for different products without washing them first to prevent cross contamination. The agency also advises that using color to indicate whether a meat or poultry is cooked enough is not reliable and a thermometer should always be used to check internal temperatures at the core to ensure all harmful bacteria has been killed.

Customers with questions may contact Barber Foods directly at 844-564-5555. For additional concerns regarding food handling safety, FSIS encourages food people to contact the toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline or visit AskKaren.gov to reach a 24 hour virtual representative.

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