News Feature | October 16, 2013

Nearly 40,000 Pounds Of Poultry Products Recalled By Costco

Source: Food Online
Sam Lewis

By Sam Lewis

South San Francisco retailer linked to Foster Farms contaminated chicken

South San Francisco’s El Camino Real Costco is recalling over 9,000 units, nearly 40,000 pounds, of rotisserie chicken products. The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced Saturday, Oct 12 the chicken may be contaminated with a strain of Salmonella Heidelberg.

This recall has been classified as a Class I risk for consumers, meaning it presents a high probability of health risks to consumers who eat the product. Class II risks present low probability of health problems from consumption, while Class III risks are mislabeled products that present no risk to consumer health. The products which are subject to recall are as follows: 8,730 “Kirkland Signature Foster Farms” rotisserie chickens, 313 total units of “Kirkland Farms” rotisserie chicken soup, rotisserie chicken leg quarter, and rotisserie chicken salad. The recalled products were sold directly to customers of the Costco at 1600 El Camino Real, South San Francisco, CA between Sept 11 and Sept 23, 2013.

The recall was initiated by FSIS because of concerns regarding several Salmonella Heidelberg illnesses that might be affiliated with consumption of the rotisserie chicken products of the El Camino Real Costco store. FSIS, along with the CDC, the California Department of Public Health, and the County of San Mateo Public Health Department found in their investigations a link between the store’s rotisserie chicken products and the illness outbreak. These illnesses are part of a large group of Salmonella Heidelberg cases that have been determined to be resistant to antibiotics.

FSIS routinely checks recall effectiveness by verifying stores have notified their customers of the recall and ensuring the products are no longer available to them. Costco has already taken steps to contact consumers who have purchased the chicken products. The FSIS website will post retail distribution lists of recalled products when they become available.

Eating food contaminated with Salmonella causes one of the most common types of food poisoning, salmonellosis. These infections can be life-threatening, especially to those with weakened immune systems. Symptoms of salmonellosis include abdominal cramps, diarrhea, and fever within eight to 72 hours of exposure. Chills, headache, nausea, and vomiting are also symptoms of this infection and may last up to seven days.

Consumers are urged by FSIS to properly handle raw poultry to prevent contamination from spreading to other foods and food surfaces. Further, the agency is reminding consumers of the importance of cooking chicken products in accordance to packaging guidelines — making sure the internal temperature of poultry reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit, which destroys foodborne bacteria.