Testing of chicken nuggets as part of an outbreak investigation has revealed a different strain of Salmonella.

Public Health England (PHE) and the Food Standards Agency (FSA) are investigating a 2018 Salmonella Enteritidis outbreak to try and find the source.

Chicken nuggets were tested because they were referenced in a patient interview in relation to the Salmonella Enteritidis outbreak but while negative for that strain they were positive for Salmonella Infantis.

PHE has confirmed there are no cases linked to the Salmonella found in the chicken nuggets. The agency is looking at a number of other Salmonella infections to see if it’s possible to establish a common cause for them.

An initial Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) alert described a foodborne outbreak in the United Kingdom suspected to be caused by Salmonella in frozen chicken nuggets from Poland. While the alert was still live at the time of publication, Food Safety News has been assured it is incorrect.

Raw product that needs cooking
The chicken nuggets product was sold in a supermarket and the retailer has withdrawn it from sale. The FSA would not say if the item was currently being sold.

Screenshot of RASFF notice that FSN has been assured is incorrect

“Due to confidentiality requirements of RASFF we do not share details on brand or business names. The RASFF portal is a restricted system because it contains commercially sensitive information,” said an FSA spokeswoman.

“As this is a raw product, effective cooking in line with the instructions on the pack, and normal good hygiene practices will prevent illness. Therefore a recall was not required. As the product is produced in Poland, we have notified the authorities in Poland via RASFF to investigate further with the manufacturer.”

The spokeswoman said such products are not ready to eat and require cooking.

“If cooked in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and good hygiene handling practices are followed, such as washing hands after handling the raw products and good kitchen hygiene, then this will be sufficient to protect people from illness.”

Supermarket chain Iceland recently recalled chicken breast toppers and southern fried chicken popsters because Salmonella was found in the products.

The FSA said investigations are ongoing but there’s no confirmed link between the two issues as yet.

Iceland Chip Shop Curry Chicken Breast Toppers 400-gram with best-before dates Feb. 27, March 17 and April 8, 2021 are affected. Southern Fried Chicken Popsters in a 220-gram pack have a best-before date of April 4, 2021.

Raw material for these products came from Poland and they were distributed to Brunei, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Falkland Islands, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Guernsey, Ireland, Israel, Jersey, Malta, Norway, Saint Helena, Saudi Arabia Spain and Thailand.

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