Costco’s recall of rotisserie chicken products from its El Camino Real store in San Francisco is larger than was originally announced five days ago, USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) said Thursday. The recall, originally issued on Oct. 12, concerns potential contamination with the Salmonella Heidelberg outbreak that may also be related to raw chickens from Foster Farms. The PFGE pattern (0258) associated with the outbreak is rarely seen in the United States. FSIS, working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the California Department of Public Health and the County of San Mateo Public Health Department, determined through epidemiologic and traceback investigations that there is a link between the Costco El Camino Real rotisserie chicken products and this illness outbreak. At this time, it appears that the problem may be the result of cross-contamination after the cooking process in the preparation area. FSIS is continuing to work with CDC, public health partners in California and Costco on the investigation. So far, the recalled products from Costco are not associated with any specific illness. FSIS officials said the Costco recall was expanded to include 13,455 “Kirkland Signature Foster Farms” rotisserie chickens and 638 units of “Kirkland Farm” rotisserie chicken soups, leg quarters, and salads to the original recall of 9,043 units. Costco sold the total of 23,136 rotisserie chicken products at the single location between Sept. 24 and Oct. 15, 2013. FSIS Recommendations for Preventing Salmonellosis:
- Wash hands before and after handling raw meat and poultry with warm/hot (preferred) or cold, soapy running water by rubbing hands together vigorously for at least 20 seconds. Also wash cutting boards, dishes and utensils with hot (preferred), soapy water and clean up any spills right away. The mechanical action of vigorous rubbing of hands and utensils/surfaces creates friction that helps to dislodge bacteria and viruses from hands and surfaces.
- Additionally, warm/hot water helps to dissolve fats/foods, aiding in cleaning/microbe removal and can also assist in deactivation of pathogens. For more information on handwashing, go to http://www.cdc.gov/handwashing.
- If soapy water is not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60-percent alcohol. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can reduce the number of germs on hands in some situations. However, sanitizers do not eliminate all types of germs, including viruses.
- Keep raw meat, fish and poultry away from other food that will not be thoroughly cooked. Use separate cutting boards for raw meat, poultry, and their juices and thoroughly cooked foods. Thoroughly cook raw meat and poultry to safe internal temperatures before eating (160 degrees F for ground meat such as beef and pork and 165 degrees F for all poultry, as measured with a food thermometer). Refrigerate raw meat and poultry within two hours after purchase (one hour if temperatures exceed 90 degrees F). Refrigerate cooked meat and poultry within two hours after cooking.