59,000 Pounds of Breaded Chicken Recalled Due to Salmonella Risk

Health Information Relationships

More than 59,000 pounds of frozen chicken is being recalled due to potential salmonella contamination. Serenade Foods initiated the nationwide chicken recall on stuffed and breaded poultry products following an investigation into a multistate salmonella outbreak that has sickened 28 people so far, according to the announcement from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS).

The recall covers approximately 59,251 pounds’ worth of five different stuffed and breaded frozen poultry products, including chicken with broccoli and cheese and cordon bleu-style chicken. The chicken, produced by Serenade Foods on February 24 and February 25, 2021, was distributed for sale nationwide under three brands: Dutch Farms, Kirkwood, and Milford Valley. 

All of the products came in 5 oz and 10 oz individually plastic-wrapped packages. They’re stamped with the establishment number “P-2375” inside the USDA mark of inspection on the packaging. (Consult the FSIS for a full list of recalled product names, lot codes, and best-by dates, as well as photos of package labels.) 

The chicken recall comes over two months after the FSIS and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a public health alert about a salmonella outbreak linked to this kind of stuffed and breaded frozen chicken, without naming any particular brands or products. At the time of the initial FSIS alert, posted June 2, there were 17 known cases across six states (Arizona, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, and New York) including eight hospitalizations (and no deaths). These cases occurred in people as young as 3 and old as 83. 

Since then, an investigation conducted by the FSIS, CDC, and local public health officials uncovered more cases of people being infected with strains of salmonella that are closely related. At this point, there have been 28 cases total, across eight states, connected to the outbreak, the FSIS says. 

Public health officials suspected a connection to this type of chicken after interviewing 12 of the 17 people who originally got sick about what they had eaten the week before. Of those 12 individuals, 10 reported having made and consumed frozen, breaded, stuffed chicken products (from different brands and stores), according to the FSIS. Investigators confirmed the link after testing unopened packages of broccoli and cheese-stuffed frozen chicken found in the home of one of the people who got sick and finding the same strain of salmonella that made people sick. The investigation is still ongoing, the FSIS says. 

As the FSIS notice points out, these stuffed, frozen chicken products are pre-browned on the outside and might look to consumers like they are pre-cooked or ready-to-eat. But the chicken is actually raw and requires proper cooking to be safe for consumption. Seven of the 10 people who reported making and eating these products said that they undercooked, microwaved, or air-fried the chicken, even though the instructions say to bake it in the oven. 

Whenever cooking this particular type of chicken—as with any raw meat—consumers need to be vigilant about following the preparation instructions on the package and cooking the meat to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. This ensures that any dangerous bacteria in the chicken, like salmonella, is killed. It’s also important to keep raw chicken products separate from other foods and not cross-contaminate surfaces, like cutting boards. 

Salmonella is a relatively common cause of foodborne illness. Symptoms include diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps starting anywhere from six hours to six days after consuming the contaminated product, and lasting four to seven days, according to the CDC. Most cases are mild enough that people recover without seeking care or getting specific treatment. 

In some cases, though, salmonella can cause severe illness, and/or spread beyond the gut to other areas of the body (like the blood or joints). Some groups of people are more vulnerable to severe illness, including infants, children, people over age 65, and people with weakened immune systems, according to the CDC. Individuals who get severely ill may require antibiotic treatment or hospitalization. 


The FSIS urges anyone who has one of the recalled products in their freezer to throw them away or return them to the store where they bought them. 



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