The Grapevine

Barber Foods Recalls 1.7 Million Pounds Of Chicken Contaminated With Salmonella After 6 Fall Ill

chicken
Barber Foods recalls 1.7 million pounds of chicken possibly contaminated with Salmonella. David Precious, CC BY 2.0.

Barber Foods is in the process of recalling 1.7 million pounds of their frozen, stuffed chicken products after six people in both Minnesota and Wisconsin experienced sickness related to Salmonella. The USDA’s Food and Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) says these six individuals became sick after eating Barber’s products between April and late June.

This recall proves to be an extension of Barber’s recall on July 2, which initially sought to take 58,000 pounds of their chicken product off of the shelves. Once more illnesses were reported to be associated with the product, Barber had no choice but to pull more of their contaminated product from stores.

Products recalled are Barber’s frozen, stuffed, raw chicken that come six per box, packaged individually. These products include Chicken Kiev, Chicken Cordon Blue, Chicken Tenders, and Chicken Broccoli Cheese. The products have manufacturing dates between Feb. 7 and May 20, 2015, with sell by dates of April 28, 2016, May 20, 2016, or July 21, 2016. They may also have a Lot Code number of 0950292102, 0950512101, or 0951132202. A full list of recalled products can be found here.

FSIS warns that though these products appear frozen, they are in fact raw, and must be treated as raw chicken. They recommend always cooking raw poultry to a temperature of 165 degrees F, and checking the center to make sure the product is heated at this consistency throughout. According to the case, several patients who became sick after consuming the product reported using heat thermometers to make sure the product was at the correct temperature. They continue to look into the case to find the origins of this contamination.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that the best way to avoid Salmonella contamination is to repeatedly wash hands and surfaces with soap that have come into contact with raw poultry, or eggs. Always wash raw chicken thoroughly before cooking or handling, and avoid cross contamination by placing meat on multiple surfaces. Poultry, as well as raw meat and eggs should be cooked fully, leaving no pink within the middle or runny consistency, to ensure all bacteria have been killed. Be extra careful when handling raw poultry around the elderly, or infants, because they are extremely susceptible to infection.

The CDC also recommends storing raw meats separately from produce, cooked foods, and ready-to-eat foods. If you have recently been diagnosed with Salmonella, avoid handling food until the infection has fully cleared. Make sure that products like milk are pasteurized before consumption, because these products may also contain Salmonella.

Salmonella is one of the most common forms of food-borne disease, but can be easily avoided if the proper precautions are taken when preparing and consuming raw foods. 

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