Today, the CDC linked a suspected outbreak of Salmonella illnesses to a source: Raw Frozen Breaded Stuffed Chicken Products. As suspected last month, this outbreak of Salmonella Raw Frozen Breaded Stuffed Chicken

CDC, public health and regulatory officials in several states, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS) are collecting different types of data to investigate a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis infections linked to raw frozen breaded stuffed chicken products.

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture collected for testing five raw frozen breaded stuffed chicken products from a grocery store where an ill person purchased these products. The outbreak strain was identified in two samples of Kirkwood’s Chicken Cordon Bleu.

CDC’s Fast Facts
  • Illnesses: 17
  • Hospitalizations: 8
  • Deaths: 0
  • States: 6
  • Recall: No
  • Investigation status: Active

Epidemiologic Data

As of June 2, 2021, a total of 17 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Enteritidis have been reported from 6 states (see map). Illnesses started on dates ranging from February 21, 2021 to May 7, 2021 (see timeline).

Sick people range in age from 3 to 83 years, with a median age of 52 years, and 60% are female. Of 13 people with information available, 8 (62%) have been hospitalized; no deaths have been reported.

The true number of sick people in an outbreak is likely much higher than the number reported, and the outbreak may not be limited to the states with known illnesses. This is because many people recover without medical care and are not tested for Salmonella. In addition, recent illnesses may not yet be reported as it usually takes 2 to 4 weeks to determine if a sick person is part of an outbreak.

State and local public health officials are interviewing people about the foods they ate in the week before they got sick. Of the 12 people interviewed, 10 (83%) reported preparing and eating frozen breaded stuffed chicken products. People reported buying many different brands of raw frozen breaded stuffed chicken products from multiple stores. When asked about how the products were prepared at home, seven people reported undercooking, microwaving, or air frying the product.

What is Salmonella?

Salmonella can present itself as many other common illnesses.

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach cramps
  • Headache

As with any food safety issue, it is important to contact your doctor in order to get the right treatment. Salmonella can go away by itself sometimes, but if you have symptoms that are described below, seek medical attention immediately:

  • Diarrhea and a fever higher than 102°F
  • Diarrhea for more than 3 days that is not improving
  • Bloody stools
  • Prolonged vomiting that prevents you from keeping liquids down
  • Signs of dehydration, such as: making very little urine, dry mouth, and dizziness when standing up

Untreated illnesses can lead to worse conditions. Do not attempt to take care of this alone. Longer exposure could and will lead to complications if not treated.

Preventing Salmonella Infection

One of the best ways to prevent the spread of Salmonella and other food related illnesses is to simply wash your hands. Here are a few tips from the CDC on when it is necessary to wash our hands:

  • Before, during, and after preparing food
  • Before eating food
  • Before and after caring for someone at home who is sick with vomiting or diarrhea
  • Before and after treating a cut or wound
  • After using the toilet
  • After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
  • After handling pet food or pet treats
  • After touching garbage

Here are 5 steps to washing your hands:

  1. Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
  2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
  4. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  5. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

Laboratory Data for This Outbreak

Public health investigators are using the PulseNet system to identify illnesses that may be part of this outbreak. CDC PulseNet manages a national database of DNA fingerprints of bacteria that cause foodborne illnesses. DNA fingerprinting is performed on bacteria using a method called whole genome sequencing (WGS).

WGS showed that bacteria from sick people’s samples are closely related genetically. This means that people in this outbreak likely got sick from the same source.

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture collected for testing five raw frozen breaded stuffed chicken products from a grocery store where an ill person purchased these products. The outbreak strain was identified in two samples of Kirkwood’s Chicken Cordon Bleu.

WGS of bacteria from 11 people’s samples did not predict any antibiotic resistance. Standard antibiotic susceptibility testing by the laboratory is currently underway.

Public Health Actions

On June 2, 2021, USDA-FSIS issued a Public Health Alert about this outbreak.

Use an oven to cook raw chicken products thoroughly to 165°F. Never use a microwave or an air fryer to cook raw chicken products. Carefully read the labels on frozen chicken products to know if they are raw. They may still contain raw chicken even if they are breaded, browned, or stuffed. Never eat raw or undercooked chicken.

Think It’s Cooked? It’s Not!

Frozen stuffed chicken products infographic

How The Lange Law Firm Can Help

Our mission is to help families who have been harmed by contaminated food or water.  When corporations cause Salmonella food poisoning outbreaks, we use the law to hold them accountable.  The Lange Law Firm is the only law firm in the nation solely focused on helping families in food poisoning lawsuits and contaminated water lawsuits.

If you got Salmonella food poisoning in this Raw Frozen Breaded Stuffed Chicken Outbreak and are interested in making a legal claim for compensation, we can help.  Our Salmonella lawyer can help you pursue compensation for your Salmonella food poisoning.  Call us for a free no obligation legal consultation at (833) 330-3663 or send us an e-mail here.

By: Candess Zona-Mendola

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