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CDC: 12 Illnesses Linked to Raw, Frozen, Stuffed Chicken Entrées

Update: This article on the ongoing chicken entreé outbreak was updated on the evening of Wednesday, July 29, to reflect a new case count. Original story below:

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated its investigation into one of two separate Salmonella outbreaks linked to raw, frozen, stuffed chicken entreés produced by Barber Foods. The federal agency has noted that “the likely source for the two outbreaks is different.”

Since the last CDC update on July 16, 2015, two additional illnesses have been connected to frozen, raw, stuffed chicken entreé products produced by Barber Foods. Nine people infected with a strain of Salmonella Enteritidis have been reported from Illinois (1), Minnesota (6), Oklahoma (1), and Wisconsin (1). Illness onset dates range from April 5, 2015, to June 23, 2015. Three people have been hospitalized.

The Raw Story: Some frozen chicken entrees look like they're cooCDC, several states, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service are currently investigating these infection outbreaks linked to raw, frozen chicken products from Barber Foods. The two outbreaks are caused by different strains of Salmonella Enteritidis, CDC stated.

As of now, this outbreak has not been connected with an outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis infections linked to raw, frozen, stuffed chicken entrées produced by Aspen Foods.

CDC also updated that outbreak on Thursday, July 16. The case count in the Aspen Foods-linked outbreak is three people, all in Minnesota. Two have been hospitalized, and no deaths have been reported.

The three illnesses occurred after people consumed Antioch Farms brand cordon bleu stuffed chicken breast, which is produced by Aspen Foods, according to CDC. For the latest information about that outbreak, go here.

CDC’s update on the outbreak linked to Barber Foods products includes this information:

    • Seven people infected with a strain of Salmonella Enteritidis have been reported from Minnesota (5), Oklahoma (1), and Wisconsin (1). Two of these ill people have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.
    • On July 1, 2015, USDA-FSIS issued a public health alert due to concerns about illnesses caused by Salmonella that may be associated with raw, frozen, breaded and pre-browned, stuffed chicken products.
    • Products were sold under many different brand names, including Barber Foods, Meijer, and Sysco.
      • Products subject to recall bear the establishment number “P-276” on the packaging.
      • Products were shipped to retail locations nationwide and Canada.
      • A list of recalled products is available.
      • Photos of recalled product labels are available.
        Barber Foods issued an expanded recall of approximately 1.7 million pounds of frozen, raw stuffed chicken products that may be contaminated with Salmonella Enteritidis on July 12, 2015. This recall expanded the initial Barber Foods recall of Chicken Kiev on July 2, 2015.
    • On July 13, 2015, Omaha Steaks issued a recall of stuffed chicken breast entrées that may be contaminated with Salmonella.
    • Products were manufactured by Barber Foods and sold under the Omaha Steaks label.
    • Products subject to recall bear the establishment number “P-4230A” on the packaging.
    • A list of recalled products is available and includes chicken cordon bleu, chicken Kiev, and chicken with broccoli and cheese.
    • Consumers should check their freezers for recalled frozen chicken products and should not eat them. Retailers should not sell them and restaurants should not serve them.
    • Updates will be provided when more information is available.
    • For information about a different outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis infections linked to raw, frozen, stuffed chicken entrées produced by Aspen Foods, visit the outbreak page here.

Investigation UpdateLabels for Recall 096-2015

Epidemiologic, laboratory, and traceback information indicate that raw, frozen, stuffed chicken entrées produced by Barber Foods are the likely source of this outbreak. In interviews, ill people answered questions about foods eaten and other exposures in the week before they became ill. Of six people for whom information is known, five (83 percent) reported eating a frozen, raw, stuffed chicken entrée produced by Barber Foods in the week before becoming ill.

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) collected 15 samples of unopened frozen chicken entrées produced by Barber Foods from retail locations for laboratory testing.

MDA isolated Salmonella from 14 of these samples; the outbreak strain was isolated from one sample. In addition, MDH and MDA collected two samples of unopened Barber Foods Chicken Kiev from an ill person’s home for laboratory testing. MDA and MDH isolated the Salmonella outbreak strain from one of these samples. Laboratory testing is ongoing.

CDC and state and local public health partners are continuing laboratory surveillance through PulseNet to identify additional ill people and to interview them. Updates will be provided when more information is available.

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