Multistate Outbreak of Multidrug-Resistant Salmonella Heidelberg Infections Linked to Foster Farms Brand Chicken
On October 12, 2013, Costco’s El Camino Real store located in South San Francisco, California recalled more than 9,000 units (approximately 40,000 pounds) of rotisserie chicken products that may be contaminated with Salmonella Heidelberg. The products subject to recall included 8,730 “Kirkland Signature Foster Farms” rotisserie chickens and 313 total units of “Kirkland Farm” rotisserie chicken soup, rotisserie chicken leg quarters, and rotisserie chicken salad. The products were sold directly to consumers in the Costco store between September 11, 2013 and September 23, 2013. While the use-by date has passed and these products are no longer available for retail sale, USDA-FSIS is concerned that some product may be frozen in consumers' freezers.
On October 17, 2013, Costco’s El Camino Real store recalled an additional 14,093 units of rotisserie chicken products that may be contaminated with Salmonella Heidelberg. This is in addition to the 9,043 units that were recalled on October 12, 2013. The products subject to recall include 13,455 “Kirkland Signature Foster Farms” rotisserie chickens and 638 total units of “Kirkland Farm” rotisserie chicken soup, rotisserie chicken leg quarters, and rotisserie chicken salad. The products were sold directly to consumers in the Costco store between September 24, 2013 and October 15, 2013. Costco and the California Department of Public Health discovered through a follow-up investigation to the previous recall that additional product should be recalled. No illnesses have been reported in association with the product recalled on October 17, 2013.
According to USDA-FSIS, the problem with possibly contaminated rotisserie chicken products at this Costco location may be the result of cross-contamination after the cooking process in the preparation area.
Although the “best by” dates have passed for these products, consumers may have frozen them for consumption at a later date. Consumers should check their homes and freezers and should not eat the recalled chicken products. Retailers and food service establishments should not serve them. Consumers with questions regarding the recall should contact Costco at (800) 774-2678.
Advice to Consumers
While it is not unusual for raw poultry from any producer to have Salmonella bacteria, it is uncommon to have multidrug-resistant Salmonella bacteria. CDC and USDA-FSIS recommend consumers and retailers follow these food safety tips to prevent Salmonella infection from raw poultry produced by Foster Farms or any other brand:
- Wash hands with warm soapy water for 20 seconds before and after handling raw meat, poultry or seafood.
- Wash utensils, cutting boards, dishes, and countertops with hot soapy water after preparing each food item and before you go on to prepare the next item.
- Washing raw poultry before cooking it is not recommended. Bacteria in raw poultry juices can be spread to other foods, utensils, and surfaces.
- Food contact surfaces may be sanitized with a freshly made solution of 1 tablespoon of unscented, liquid chlorine bleach in 1 gallon of water.
- Separate raw meat, poultry, and seafood from other foods in your grocery shopping cart and in your refrigerator.
- If possible, use one cutting board for fresh produce and a separate one for raw meat, poultry, and seafood.
- Never place cooked food on a plate that previously held raw meat, poultry, or seafood.
- Cook poultry to a safe minimum internal temperature of 165°F as measured with a food thermometer.
- Retailers should hold cooked poultry to a safe minimum internal temperature of 165°F or higher as measured with a food thermometer.
- Chill food promptly and properly. Refrigerate or freeze perishables, prepared foods, and leftovers within 2 hours (or 1 hour if temperatures are above 90°F).
Contact your health care provider if you think you may have become ill from eating contaminated food.
- Symptoms of Salmonella infection include:
- Diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection.
- The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most persons recover without treatment.
- See Signs & Symptoms for more information.
- Children younger than 5 years, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness from Salmonella infection.
- While it is not unusual for raw poultry from any producer to have Salmonella bacteria, it is uncommon for poultry to have multidrug-resistant Salmonella bacteria. People who think they have become ill from eating chicken associated with this outbreak should inform their health care provider about this antibiotic resistance.