The products subject to recall are:
- 8,730 “Kirkland Signature Foster Farms” rotisserie chickens
- 313 total units of “Kirkland Farm” rotisserie chicken soup, rotisserie chicken leg quarters, and rotisserie chicken salad
Strains of salmonella Heidelberg are associated with chicken distributed to retail outlets in California, Oregon and Washington state, the USDA said in a statement.
The products were sold directly to consumers in a Costco located at 1600 El Camino Real, South San Francisco between Sept. 11 and Sept. 23, 2013.
The recall was initiated due to concerns about a group of salmonella Heidelberg illnesses that may be associated with the consumption of rotisserie chicken products prepared in and purchased at the Costco El Camino Real store, the agency said in a news release.
The PFGE pattern (0258) associated with this outbreak is reported rarely in the United States, according to the statement.
FSIS, working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the California Department of Public Health and the County of San Mateo Public Health Department, determined through epidemiologic and traceback investigations that there is a link between the Costco El Camino Real rotisserie chicken products and this illness outbreak.
FSIS is continuing to work with CDC, public health partners in California and Costco on the investigation. FSIS will continue to provide information as it becomes available.
This group of illnesses is part of a larger cluster of Salmonella Heidelberg illnesses that are known to be multi-drug resistant.
For more information about the larger cluster, visit: http://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/heidelberg-10-13/index.html.
FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers. Costco has already taken steps to contact every customer who purchased rotisserie chicken products. When available, the retail distribution list(s) will be posted on the FSIS website at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/recalls-and-public-health-alerts/current-recalls-and-alerts.
Consumers and media with questions regarding the recall should contact Costco at 800-774-2678.
FSIS reminds consumers to properly handle raw poultry in a manner to prevent contamination from spreading to other foods and food contact surfaces.
FSIS further reminds consumers of the critical importance of following package cooking instructions for frozen or fresh chicken products and general food safety guidelines when handling and preparing any raw meat or poultry.
In particular, while cooking instructions may give a specific number of minutes of cooking for each side of the product in order to attain 165 °F internal temperature, consumers should be aware that actual time may vary depending on the cooking method (broiling, frying, or grilling) and the temperature of the product (chilled versus frozen) so it is important that the final temperature of 165 °F must be reached for safety.
Please do not rely on the cooking time for each side of the product, but use a food thermometer, health officials recommended.
All poultry products should be cooked to a safe minimum internal temperature of 165° F as determined by a food thermometer. Using a food thermometer is the only way to know that food has reached a high enough temperature to destroy foodborne bacteria.
Consumption of food contaminated with Salmonella can cause salmonellosis, one of the most common bacterial foodborne illnesses. Salmonella infections can be life-threatening, especially to those with weak immune systems, such as infants, the elderly, and persons with HIV or undergoing chemotherapy. The most common symptoms of salmonellosis are diarrhea, abdominal cramps and fever within eight to 72 hours. Additional symptoms may be chills, headache, nausea and vomiting that can last up to seven days.
Consumers with food safety questions can "Ask Karen," the FSIS virtual representative available 24 hours a day at AskKaren.gov. The toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) is available in English and Spanish and can be reached from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a day.