The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has linked a salmonella outbreak to raw breaded chicken products that were sold frozen. According to the agency, salmonella infections linked to a specific strain popped up across half a dozen states between late February and early May, resulting in several hospitalizations but no deaths.
According to the CDC, a total of 17 cases of salmonella infections were reported; using whole genome sequencing, the cases were all linked to the same outbreak strain. Only 13 of the 17 cases had information available, and of those 13 a total of eight people were hospitalized. The CDC says it’s likely that much more people were infected, however, because many people who become ill with salmonella recover on their own.
By interviewing the patients, investigators were able to link the illnesses with frozen raw breaded chicken products sold under multiple different brands by different stores. Officials in Minnesota tested this type of chicken product at a grocery store where one of the patients shopped and found the same salmonella strain in Kirkwood’s Chicken Cordon Bleu.
Of note, seven of the patients interviewed reported that they used air frying, microwaving, or otherwise undercooked the chicken products before the illness developed. As such, the CDC is advising the public to thoroughly and properly cook chicken products before eating them — and this includes avoiding cooking methods like air fryers and microwaves.
As part of this outbreak, the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspective Service has issued a public health advisory, noting that the impacted products may be sold with labels like ‘chicken Kiev,’ chicken cordon bleu, and chicken with broccoli and cheese. More details about the outbreak are pending and the investigation is still underway.