Food Poisoning Bulletin

Raw-Chicken-BreastThe first of two Salmonella outbreaks linked to Foster Farms chicken during 2013 was announced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) one year ago this weekend. The outbreak sickened 134 people in 13 states, 33 people were hospitalized.

Most of those sickened, 71 percent, told health investigators that they had eaten Foster Farms chicken before they developing symptoms of Salmonella poisoning which include abdominal cramps, nausea and diarrhea.  Shopper card records showed nine case patients purchased Foster Farms chicken before illness onset.


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Costco recalls 40,000 pounds of rotisserie chicken for salmonella risk

A Costco wholesale store in South San Francisco, Calif., is recalling nearly 40,000 pounds of rotisserie chicken products because the food may be linked to an outbreak of salmonella poisoning that now has sickened more than 300 people in 20 states, federal health officials said early Saturday.

The Costco store 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, according to a notice issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service. The products were sold directly to consumers between Sept. 11 and Sept. 23.

The rotisserie chickens may have been contaminated with a type of Salmonella heidelberg rarely found in the United States, FSIS officials said. The strain is linked to an ongoing food poisoning outbreak associated with three Foster Farms poultry plants in Fresno and Livingston, Calif. The USDA issued a public health alert for products from the plant on Monday, but on Thursday agreed that the facilities could remain open if the company made promised food safety fixes.

At least 317 people in 20 states have been sickened by the outbreak since March, according to an updated notice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most of the cases have been in California, where 232 people have been reported ill. It is the second outbreak of salmonella Heidelberg tied to Foster Farms in less than a year. A previous outbreak sickened 134 people in 13 states.

Some of the seven strains of salmonella detected in the outbreak are drug-resistant, which has created hard-to-treat infections in some patients. About 42 percent of victims in the outbreak have been hospitalized, twice the typical rate for salmonella infections.

The rotisserie chicken recall is limited to the single store, Craig Wilson, Costco’s vice president for food safety, told NBC News on Saturday. One cooked bird tested positive for the rare salmonella strain, Wilson said.

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