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Foster Farms recalls chicken products; some sold at McChord Commissary

Department of Defense

Published: 12:04PM July 11th, 2014

Foster Farms is recalling an unspecified amount of its chicken products because the products may be contaminated with a strain of salmonella Heidelberg, according to a Department of Defense All Food and Drug Activity message sent July 9.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notified the Food Safety and Inspection Service on June 23 that the products listed in this recall were associated with salmonella Heidelberg. This illness is part of an ongoing outbreak that is being monitored and investigated by both the CDC and FSIS.

The Defense Commissary Agency has publicized this recall to all its stores. Whenever a commissary has a recalled or withdrawn product in its inventory, the product is immediately removed from store shelves.

"These products were produced in March," said Richard Stith, lead consumer safety officer for DeCA headquarters at Fort Lee, Va. "Our patrons could have this product frozen in their homes. This product should not be consumed."

The products that are subject to recall have the establishment numbers P6137, P6137A or P7632 inside the USDA mark of inspections. The products were produced on March 8, 10 and 11, 2014. A list of specific products being recalled can be found here. As of July 2, there have been 621 cases of salmonella Heidelberg infection reported.

Salmonella can be potentially life-threatening, especially to infants, older people, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems. It can cause salmonellosis, one of the most common bacterial foodborne illnesses. Salmonella's most common symptoms are diarrhea, abdominal cramps and fever. Salmonella's symptoms usually develop between eight to 72 hours after consumption of the contaminated food and last about four to seven days.

The CDC and USDA-FSIS recommend consumers and retailers follow these food safety tips to prevent salmonella infection when handling raw meat, poultry or seafood:

Clean

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.

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

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

Cook poultry to a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit 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

Chill food promptly and properly. Refrigerate or freeze perishables, prepared foods, and leftovers within two hours (or one hour if temperatures are above 90 F).

Contact your health care provider if you think you may have become ill from eating contaminated food.

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.

Customers who purchased any of these products should bring them back for a refund.