Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to navigation Skip directly to page options Skip directly to site content

Multistate Outbreak of Drug-Resistant Salmonella Enteritidis Infections Linked to Raw, Frozen, Stuffed Chicken Entrees Produced by Barber Foods (Final Update)

Posted October 16, 2015 11:30 AM ET

This outbreak appears to be over. However, the recalled frozen chicken products have a long shelf life and may still be in people’s freezers. Consumers unaware of the recall could continue to eat the products and potentially get sick. Read the Advice to Consumers.

This outbreak was not connected with an outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis infections linked to raw, frozen, stuffed chicken entrees produced by Aspen Foods and sold under many different brands.

Highlights

  • This outbreak appears to be over. However, the recalled raw, frozen, stuffed and breaded chicken products have a long shelf life and may still be in people’s freezers. Consumers unaware of the recall could continue to eat the products and potentially get sick.
  • CDC, several states, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS) investigated an outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis infections linked to raw, frozen, stuffed and breaded chicken entrees produced by Barber Foods.
    • Fifteen people infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella Enteritidis were reported from seven states. Four ill people were hospitalized. No deaths were reported.
  • CDC’s National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) laboratory conducted antibiotic resistance testing on clinical isolates collected from four ill people infected with the outbreak strains.
    • All four (100%) isolates tested were resistant to ampicillin and tetracycline.
    • Antibiotic resistance may be associated with increased risk of hospitalization, development of a bloodstream infection, or treatment failure in patients.
  • Recalls of several brands of frozen, raw, stuffed and breaded chicken entrees produced by Barber Foods were announced as a result of this investigation.
    • On July 12, 2015, Barber Foods issued an expanded recall of approximately 1.7 million pounds of frozen, raw stuffed chicken products that may be contaminated with Salmonella Enteritidis. This recall expanded the initial Barber Foods recall of chicken Kiev on July 2, 2015.
    • On July 13, 2015, Omaha Steaks issued a recall of stuffed chicken breast entrees that may be contaminated with Salmonella.
    • A full list of recalled products and photos are available on the Advice to Consumers page.
  • Consumers should check their freezers for any of the recalled frozen chicken products and should not eat them. Retailers should not sell them and restaurants should not serve them.

Outbreak Summary


Introduction

CDC, several states, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS) investigated an outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis infections linked to raw, frozen, stuffed and breaded chicken entrees produced by Barber Foods. This outbreak was not connected with an outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis infections linked to raw, frozen, stuffed chicken entrees produced by Aspen Foods.

Public health investigators used the PulseNet system to identify illnesses that were part of this outbreak. PulseNet is the national subtyping network of public health and food regulatory agency laboratories coordinated by CDC. DNA “fingerprinting” is performed on Salmonella bacteria isolated from ill people using techniques called pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and whole genome sequencing (WGS). WGS gives a more detailed DNA fingerprint than PFGE. PulseNet manages a national database of these DNA fingerprints to identify possible outbreaks of enteric illness. Two DNA fingerprints (outbreak strains) of Salmonella Enteritidis, shown to be closely related genetically, were involved in this outbreak.

A total of 15 people infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella Enteritidis were reported from seven states. The number of ill people reported from each state was as follows: Connecticut (1), Illinois (2), Minnesota (8), New Hampshire (1), New York (1), Oklahoma (1), and Wisconsin (1).

Illness onset dates ranged from April 5, 2015 to July 27, 2015. Ill people ranged in age from 4 years to 82, with a median age of 32, and 60% were female. Among 10 people with available information, 4 (40%) were hospitalized. No deaths were reported.

Investigation of the Outbreak

Epidemiologic, laboratory, and traceback information indicated that raw, frozen, stuffed and breaded chicken entrees produced by Barber Foods was the likely source of this outbreak.

In interviews, ill people answered questions about foods eaten and other exposures in the week before they became ill. Of 10 people for whom information was known, 9 (90%) reported eating a frozen, raw, stuffed and breaded chicken entree produced by Barber Foods in the week before becoming ill.

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and Department of Agriculture (MDA) collected 15 samples of unopened frozen chicken entrees produced by Barber Foods from retail locations for laboratory testing. MDA isolated Salmonella from 14 of these samples; an outbreak strain was isolated from one sample. In addition, MDH and MDA collected four samples of unopened Barber Foods chicken Kiev from two ill persons’ homes for laboratory testing. MDA and MDH isolated a Salmonella outbreak strain from three of these samples which were collected from both households.

As a result of the outbreak investigation, on July 2, 2015, Barber Foods recalled approximately 58,320 pounds of Chicken Kiev because it may be contaminated with Salmonella Enteritidis. The product subject to recall included a 2 lb., 4 oz. box containing six individually pouched pieces of “Barber Foods Premium Entrees Breaded-Boneless Raw Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Rib Meat Kiev” with use by/sell by dates of April 28, 2016, May 20, 2016, and July 21, 2016. The product was available for purchase at Sam’s Club retail stores in Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

On July 12, 2015, Barber Foods expanded its recall to include 1.7 million pounds of frozen, raw stuffed chicken products that may be contaminated with Salmonella Enteritidis. The recall included Chicken Kiev as well as other types of frozen chicken products. The chicken products were produced between February 17, 2015 and May 20, 2015. The products subject to recall bear the establishment number “P-276” inside the USDA mark of inspection. The products were shipped to retail locations nationwide and Canada and sold under many different brand names.

On July 13, 2015, Omaha Steaks announced a recall of stuffed chicken breast products manufactured by Barber Foods that may be contaminated with Salmonella. A small amount of the product was sold under the Omaha Steaks label and bears the establishment number “P-4230A” inside the USDA mark of inspection.

The National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) is a U.S. public health surveillance system that tracks antibiotic resistance in foodborne and other enteric bacteria found in people, raw meat and poultry, and food-producing animals. NARMS is a partnership among the CDC, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), USDA, and state and local health departments.

The NARMS human surveillance program at CDC monitors antibiotic resistance in Salmonella and other bacteria isolated from clinical specimens submitted to NARMS by public health laboratories. CDC’s NARMS laboratory conducted antibiotic resistance testing on clinical isolates collected from four ill people infected with the outbreak strains. Of the four isolates tested, all (100%) were resistant to ampicillin and tetracycline. Antibiotic resistance may be associated with increased risk of hospitalization, development of a bloodstream infection, or treatment failure in patients.

This outbreak appears to be over. However, the recalled raw, frozen, stuffed and breaded chicken products have a long shelf life and may still be in people’s freezers. Consumers unaware of the recall could continue to eat the products and potentially get sick.

October 16, 2015


Final Case Count Update

Since the last update on July 29, 2015, six more ill people were reported from five states.

A total of 15 people infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella Enteritidis were reported from seven states. The number of ill people reported from each state was as follows: Connecticut (1), Illinois (2), Minnesota (8), New Hampshire (1), New York (1), Oklahoma (1), and Wisconsin (1).

Illness onset dates ranged from April 5, 2015 to July 27, 2015. Ill people ranged in age from 4 years to 82, with a median age of 32, and 60% were female. Among 10 people with available information, 4 (40%) were hospitalized, and no deaths were reported.

July 29, 2015


Case Count Update

Since the last update on July 16, 2015, two additional ill people have been reported from Illinois (1) and Minnesota (1). A total of nine people infected with a strain of Salmonella Enteritidis have been reported from Illinois (1), Minnesota (6), Oklahoma (1), and Wisconsin (1).

Illness onset dates range from April 5, 2015 to July 5, 2015. Ill people range in age from 4 years to 82 with a median age of 46, and 56% are female. Three of six people for whom information is available (50%) have been hospitalized, and no deaths have been reported.

Illnesses that occurred after July 14, 2015 might not yet be reported due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill and when the illness is reported. This takes an average of 2 to 4 weeks.

Investigation Update

In ongoing interviews, ill people answered questions about foods eaten and other exposures in the week before they became ill. Of eight people for whom information is known, seven (88%) reported eating a frozen, raw, stuffed chicken entrée produced by Barber Foods in the week before becoming ill.

The National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) is a U.S. public health surveillance system that tracks antibiotic resistance in foodborne and other enteric bacteria found in people, raw meat and poultry, and food-producing animals. NARMS is a partnership among the CDC, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and state and local health departments.

The NARMS human surveillance program at CDC monitors antibiotic resistance in Salmonella and other bacteria isolated from clinical specimens submitted to NARMS by public health laboratories. CDC’s NARMS laboratory conducted antibiotic resistance testing on clinical isolates collected from four ill people infected with the outbreak strain. Of the four isolates tested, all (100%) were resistant to ampicillin and tetracycline. Antibiotic resistance may be associated with increased risk of hospitalization, development of a bloodstream infection, or treatment failure in patients.

CDC and state and local public health partners are continuing laboratory surveillance through PulseNet to identify additional ill people and to interview them. Updates will be provided when more information is available.

At this time, this outbreak has not been connected with an outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis infections linked to raw, frozen, stuffed chicken entrees produced by Aspen Foods and sold under many different brands.

July 16, 2015

Case Count Update

Since the last update on July 13, 2015, one additional ill person has been reported from Oklahoma. A total of seven people infected with a strain of Salmonella Enteritidis have been reported from Minnesota (5), Oklahoma (1), and Wisconsin (1). Illness onset dates range from April 5, 2015 to June 23, 2015. Two people were hospitalized.

Investigation Update

CDC, several states, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service are currently investigating two separate outbreaks of Salmonella Enteritidis infections linked to raw, frozen, stuffed chicken entrees. The two outbreaks are caused by different strains of Salmonella Enteritidis. The likely source for the two outbreaks is different.

Epidemiologic, laboratory, and traceback information indicate that raw, frozen, stuffed chicken entrees produced by Barber Foods are the likely source of this outbreak. In interviews, ill people answered questions about foods eaten and other exposures in the week before they became ill. Of six people for whom information is known, five (83%) reported eating a frozen, raw, stuffed chicken entrée produced by Barber Foods in the week before becoming ill.

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and Department of Agriculture (MDA) collected 15 samples of unopened frozen chicken entrees produced by Barber Foods from retail locations for laboratory testing. MDA isolated Salmonella from 14 of these samples; the outbreak strain was isolated from one sample. In addition, MDH and MDA collected two samples of unopened Barber Foods chicken Kiev from an ill person’s home for laboratory testing. MDA and MDH isolated the Salmonella outbreak strain from one of these samples. Laboratory testing is ongoing.

CDC and state and local public health partners are continuing laboratory surveillance through PulseNet to identify additional ill people and to interview them. Updates will be provided when more information is available.

At this time, this outbreak has not been connected with an outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis infections linked to raw, frozen, stuffed chicken entrees produced by Aspen Foods. For the latest information about that outbreak investigation, please visit the outbreak webpage.

July 13, 2015

Case Count Update
Outbreak 1

Since the last update on July 8, 2015, two more ill people have been reported from Minnesota and Wisconsin. A total of six people infected with a strain of Salmonella Enteritidis have been reported from Minnesota (5) and Wisconsin (1). Illness onset dates range from April 5, 2015 to June 23, 2015. Two people were hospitalized.

Outbreak 2

No new illnesses have been identified since the last update on July 8, 2015. The Minnesota Department of Health identified three people infected with a different strain of Salmonella Enteritidis with illness onset dates ranging from May 9, 2015 to June 8, 2015. Two people were hospitalized.

Investigation Update

On July 12, 2015, Barber Foods expanded its recall to include 1.7 million pounds of frozen, raw stuffed chicken products that may be contaminated with Salmonella Enteritidis. The recall included Chicken Kiev as well as other types of frozen chicken products. The chicken products were produced between February 17, 2015 and May 20, 2015. The products subject to recall bear the establishment number “P-276” inside the USDA mark of inspection. The products were shipped to retail locations nationwide and Canada and sold under many different brand names. A list of recalled products is available. This recall expanded the initial Barber Foods recall of Chicken Kiev on July 2, 2015 and resulted from investigation of the first outbreak.

CDC and state and local public health partners are continuing laboratory surveillance through PulseNet to identify additional ill people and to interview them. Updates will be provided when more information is available.

Initial Announcement

July 8, 2015

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA), along with CDC and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS), are investigating two outbreaks of Salmonella Enteritidis infections linked to raw, frozen, breaded and pre-browned stuffed chicken entrees.

Public health investigators are using the PulseNet system to identify illnesses that may be part of these outbreaks. PulseNet is the national subtyping network of public health and food regulatory agency laboratories coordinated by CDC. DNA "fingerprinting" is performed on Salmonella bacteria isolated from ill people by using a technique called pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, or PFGE. PulseNet manages a national database of these DNA “fingerprints” to identify possible outbreaks. Two DNA “fingerprints” (outbreak strains) are included in these outbreak investigations. The two strains represent the most common Salmonella Enteritidis strains in the PulseNet database. Because the two strains are so common, most of the illnesses identified as having matching PFGE patterns may not be related to this outbreak. Investigators are using additional laboratory methods, including whole genome sequencing, to help clarify which illnesses may be related to these outbreaks.

Investigation of the Outbreaks

In the first outbreak, MDH identified four people infected with a strain of Salmonella Enteritidis with illness onset dates ranging from April 5, 2015 to June 8, 2015. Two people were hospitalized. Epidemiologic and traceback evidence linked these illnesses to eating Barber Foods brand Chicken Kiev raw stuffed chicken breast. This investigation is ongoing.

In the second outbreak, MDH identified three people infected with a different strain of Salmonella Enteritidis with illness onset dates ranging from May 9, 2015 to June 8, 2015. Two people were hospitalized. The MDH and MDA investigation found that illnesses occurred after the people had eaten Antioch Farms brand Cordon Bleu raw stuffed chicken breast. This investigation is also ongoing.

On July 1, 2015, USDA-FSIS issued a public health alert due to concerns about illnesses caused by Salmonella that may be associated with raw, frozen, breaded and pre-browned, stuffed chicken products. In the alert, USDA-FSIS advises all consumers to safely prepare and cook these products to a temperature of 165°F.

As a result of the first outbreak investigation, on July 2, 2015, Barber Foods recalled approximately 58,320 pounds of Chicken Kiev because it may be contaminated with Salmonella Enteritidis. The product subject to recall includes a 2 lb.-4 oz. box containing six individually pouched pieces of "Barber Foods Premium Entrees Breaded-Boneless Raw Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Rib Meat Kiev" with use by/sell by dates of April 28, 2016, May 20, 2016, and July 21, 2016. The product was available for purchase at Sam’s Club retail stores in Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

Illnesses in other states linked to either outbreak have not been identified but the investigation is ongoing. CDC and state and local public health partners are continuing laboratory surveillance through PulseNet to identify additional ill people and to interview them. Updates will be provided when more information is available.

TOP