Salmonella concerns prompt public health alert


By Lindsey Klingele on 10/6/2008


Source of Article:


USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service late Friday issued a public health alert due to concerns about illness caused by salmonella that may be associated with raw, frozen, breaded and pre-browned, stuffed chicken entrees.

The agency issued the public health alert after an investigation and testing conducted by the Minnesota Department of Health and Minnesota Department of Agriculture determined an association between products such as chicken cordon blue and chicken breast kiev and 32 illnesses in Minnesota and 11 other states. The illnesses were linked through the epidemiological investigation by their PFGE pattern, or DNA fingerprint.

Although many of these stuffed chicken entrees were labeled with instructions identifying the product was uncooked and did not include microwave instruction for preparation, individuals who became ill did not follow the cooking instructions and reportedly used a microwave to prepare the product.

FSIS is reminding consumers of the critical importance of following package cooking instructions for frozen, stuffed raw chicken products and general food safety guidelines when handling and preparing any raw meat or poultry, such as use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of these chicken products such that all points of measurement are at least 165 F.

Frozen, raw, breaded and pre-browned stuffed chicken products covered by this alert and similar products, may be stuffed or filled, breaded or browned and therefore appear to be cooked. These items may be labeled "chicken cordon bleu," "chicken kiev" or chicken breast stuffed with cheese, vegetables or other items.



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