More chicken recalled from Costco's South San Francisco store

Oct. 18, 2013 at 6:45 PM
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WASHINGTON, Oct. 18 (UPI) -- A Costco store in San Francisco that previously recalled 40,000 pounds of rotisserie chicken products is recalling another 14,093 units, U.S. officials said.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service said the rotisserie chicken products might be contaminated with Salmonella Heidelberg.

The recall involves 13,455 "Kirkland Signature Foster Farms" rotisserie chickens and 638 units of "Kirkland Farm" rotisserie chicken soup, rotisserie chicken leg quarters and rotisserie chicken salad. The products were sold directly to consumers in a Costco located in South San Francisco, from Sept. 24 to Oct. 15.

Costco and the California Department of Public Health discovered through a follow-up investigation after the previous recall that additional product should be recalled. No illnesses have been reported in association with the product from this store currently being recalled, FSIS officials said.

However, as of Oct. 17, a total of 338 persons infected with seven outbreak strains of Salmonella Heidelberg were reported from 20 states and Puerto Rico. No deaths were reported, 40 percent were hospitalized, and 75 percent of the illnesses were in California.

Epidemiologic, laboratory and traceback investigations conducted by local, state and federal officials indicated consumption of Foster Farms brand chicken was the likely source of this outbreak of Salmonella Heidelberg infections, the CDC said.

The pattern associated with the outbreak is rare in the United States. The FSIS, working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the California Department of Public Health and the County of San Mateo Public Health Department, determined there is a link between the Costco South San Francisco store's 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," the FSIS said in a statement.

Consumers should not eat the recalled chicken products, and retailers and food service establishments should not serve them, the CDC said.

FSIS reminds consumers poultry products should be cooked to a safe minimum internal temperature of 165° F as determined by a food thermometer. Using a food thermometer is the only way to know food has reached a high enough temperature to destroy food-borne bacteria.

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