An outbreak of salmonella food poisoning in a Tennessee prison has resulted in the recall of about 34,000 pounds of mechanically separated Tyson chicken products.
A Tyson Foods chicken recall was announced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) on January 10, after confirming through epidemiological testing that the strain of salmonella in the Tyson chicken products matched the strains from seven sickened individuals at a Tennessee correctional facility.
The recall includes 33,840 pounds of Tyson Mechanically Separated Chicken products that were sold in 40 pound cases containing four 10 pound chubs of chicken. The affected cases have a USDA mark of inspection with case code 2843SDL1412-18 and establishment number P-13556.
The chicken products were produced by Tyson Foods, Inc. of Sedalia, Missouri on October 11, 2013, where they were shipped nationwide for institutional use only. The products were not available in grocery or retail stores.
Salmonella infections can cause mild to severe health consequences depending upon the individual. The bacteria may cause a healthy person to experience fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain whereas the young or elderly with weakened immune systems may face more severe consequences, including fatal infections. Occasionally, salmonella infections may travel through the bloodstream and produce illnesses such as arterial infections, endocarditis and arthritis.
The CDC estimates that Salmonella infections account for about 1.4 million food borne illnesses per year and about 400 fatalities annually in the United States alone.
The United States Department of Agriculture recommends handling raw meats or poultry with extreme care when preparing meals. Particularly, food handlers should always separate raw items and thoroughly clean cutting boards to prevent cross contamination. Additionally, food preparers should never use “color” to indicate internal temperature because certain items need to be cooked at high enough temperatures to kill bacteria.
The FSIS advises customers with the affected chicken to stop using the product immediately and contact Tyson Foods’ Consumer Relations Department at 866-886-8456 for further questions and instructions.